Skip to main content

Panthers Worked Out 4 Veteran RBs After Christian McCaffrey Injury

Christian McCaffrey evading a tackle.

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 09: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers carries the ball in front of the defense of Emmanuel Ogbah #90 of the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday night that'll keep him out of action for at least a few weeks. With the All-Pro running back on the shelf for now, the Carolina Panthers are looking at the free agent market for immediate help at that position.

Less than 24 hours after their win over the Houston Texans, the Panthers worked out four running backs. Those four running backs are BJ Emmons, Dontrell Hilliard, Duke Johnson and Ito Smith.

Emmons, who began his college career at Alabama before transferring to Florida Atlantic, spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this year. He's still searching for his first big break in the NFL.

Hilliard hasn't been that productive in the NFL either, but he did spend over two years with the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps he'll have the chance to revitalize his career in Carolina.

There's no doubt that Johnson and Smith are the most intriguing names from the workout list, but that doesn't mean they'll be offered a contract. Johnson has proven that he can make an impact as a runner and receiver, meanwhile Smith has ample experience playing in the NFC South.

Even if the Panthers sign one of these four running backs, Chuba Hubbard is expected to be the workhorse in the backfield. On Thursday night, Hubbard had 11 carries for 52 rushing yards. He also had three receptions for 27 yards. It'll be interesting to see if Carolina's offense can stay afloat during Christian McCaffrey's absence. [

The four RBs the Panthers are working out after Christian McCaffrey's injury: Ito Smith, Duke Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard and BJ Emmons.

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 24, 2021

">Field Yates]