Panthers RB Circus

Up and down the Panthers depth chart, are three intriguing running backs. Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster, and Nick Goings. They’ve each had their time under the spotlight as a Panther. Now that all three are apparently healthy, it’s going to set the stage for an interesting year. What type of philosophy will we see from the Panthers to utilize their backfield at full strength?

Figuring that Stephen Davis was just recently named starter, is a head twister. He barely played in the preseason and there was serious doubt of him being able to return from his serious knee injury. Nevertheless, he showed enough to warrant the starting job, according to the Panthers. Even DeShaun Foster admitted that Davis deserves the job. Either Foster is non caring about the position, or someone is on the verge of comeback player of the year.

Davis success as a back shouldn’t be overlooked. He was ridden off coming into the league as a fullback for Washington, before dazzling as a running back. After the Redskins let him go, it appeared that the majority of people also thought Davis was done. He proved people wrong once again, and now is set to do the same.

He plays a lot like the old style Jerome Bettis. He is a big bruiser, but once he gets in the clear, he can showcase a little speed. He has always averaged over four yards per carry in the years that he has played a substantial amount. A lot of that comes in the waning periods when he has worn down opposing defenses.

At 31 though, questions have began to linger on how much longer he can do it. If he is fully rehabilitated and not being pushed, then Davis will be a huge sleeper. Reason being is that the Panthers use one of the best passing-running styles of attack in the league. Even Nick Goings was able to have a great campaign last season, with Davis and Foster out.

For Deshaun Foster, fantasy owners have to be ticked. Foster was the sleeper on everyone’s draft board, because they figured Davis was out of the picture. That didn’t happen, but don’t give up on Foster just yet. He’ll be a great asset to the Panthers, and they’ll use him so that they don’t wear out Foster.

It’ll be very similar to how they used Foster in their stretch run to make the Super Bowl, two seasons ago. Foster’s durability is probably more questionable than Davis’s, so that’ll be a good role for him.

With Nick Goings, it’s pretty much back to special teams, and a carry here and there. Unless of course either Davis or Foster goes down. Based on the past few years, that is a high possibility. But for now, it’s the Davis-Foster show. Expect a 60/40 percentage in carries for the backs.


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