The Carolina Panthers running back unit was once a source of strength and effectiveness. It has been a while since the Panthers featured a 1,000-yard rusher in their backfield—2009 to be exact. In the years following, Carolina running backs have struggled to stay healthy, pick up significant yardage on game day and have struggled to be the scoring machines that defined their earlier years.
DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart still continue to make up the veteran presence on the team, but new additions in Kenjon Barner, Tyler Gaffney and Darrin Reaves look to make up the next generation of running backs for the Panthers. Lining up in front of them are fullbacks Mike Tolbert and Michael Zordich.
With the doubt surrounding the contributions of the receiving corps and the fact Carolina is still one of the few teams in the league to embrace a power running game, the running backs will be tasked with the job of moving the ball and setting up the offense with many scoring opportunities.
Can the unit get the necessary help up front from a revamped offensive line?
The next few weeks will serve as bit of a measuring stick for the potential success the running game will receive, but the real test will come when the season kicks off.
For now, here is a look at each running back and fullback that will start out with the team when camp opens.