4 players Carolina Panthers can't risk sneaking on the practice squad in 2024

The Carolina Panthers could risk losing these players.
Raheem Blackshear
Raheem Blackshear / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Raheem Blackshear - Carolina Panthers RB/KR

Things are heating up in the Carolina Panthers running back room. Dave Canales and Dan Morgan wanted to ensure more competition for places across the board. The head coach is also looking to implement a run-first offense to make life easier for quarterback Bryce Young after his torrid rookie exploits.

To accomplish this feat, the Panthers need several running backs capable of stepping up. Chuba Hubbard looked the part last season and could thrive further in a contract year. Things look less promising for Miles Sanders, who went through prolonged struggles in 2023 following his high-profile switch from the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency.

Second-round selection Jonathon Brooks and veteran Rashaad Penny raised the urgency in no uncertain terms. The Panthers also extended Raheem Blackshear after he caught the eye during limited involvement during the previous campaign.

Blackshear has a lot of qualities. He's got good field vision and can exploit gaps when they arise. The former undrafted free agent is also an asset catching passes out of the backfield. This is something Young needs in pursuit of making a better go of things next time around.

Another way the Panthers could deploy Blackshear cannot be overlooked when determining his future. The new NFL kickoff rules favor the return teams as those in the league office aim to make this part of the game more exciting. Considering his proven production on kick returns, it's something those in power should exploit alongside Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

This might ensure Blackshear gets a roster spot, but it's no guarantee. The running back room is crowded, so anything less than thriving throughout the summer could see the Panthers go in a different direction.

If the franchise prefers others and plans to place Blackshear on the practice squad, so be it. But don't be surprised if his production and the new kickoff changes lead another team to claim him off waivers.