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Position preview: Running backs

Posted Jul 8, 2014

Carolina often leaned on its rushing attack in 2013, finishing 11th in the NFL in rushing yards and fifth in time of possession.
 
Only six teams ran the ball more than the Panthers last season, and the running backs are in line for another heavy workload in 2014. Fortunately, Jonathan Stewart is healthy as he enters training camp and he'll be eager to help carry some of the load after battling a series of injuries.

RETURNERS

DeAngelo Williams
Panthers' all-time leading rusher led the team with 843 rushing yards and scored three rushing touchdowns in 2013. ... Produced a momentum-swinging 43-yard touchdown run against the Saints in Week 16 for his longest rush of the season. ...  Posted 26 receptions for a career-high 333 yards. ... Recorded a career-long 72-yard touchdown reception on a screen against the Jets in Week 15.

Jonathan Stewart
Spent the first seven games on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from offseason surgery on both ankles. ... Played in six games and compiled 180 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards. ... Suffered a partially torn right medial collateral ligament in Week 14 – an injury that caused him to be inactive for last three regular season games and playoff game.

RELATED NEWS

Mike Tolbert
Short-yardage and goal-line weapon played in every game (started 13 at fullback) and rushed for 361 yards and five touchdowns. ... Recorded 27 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. ... Seven total scores led the team. ... Ranked first among all NFL running backs and fullbacks with a 30.7 first down percentage. ... Has produced 14 touchdowns in two years in Carolina.

Kenjon Barner
Sixth-round draft choice in 2013 played in eight games. ... Rushed six times for seven yards and recorded two catches for seven yards. ... Returned two kickoffs for 17 yards. ... Former All-American rushed for 3,623 yards and 41 touchdowns at Oregon.

Michael Zordich
Undrafted rookie free agent spent entire 2013 season on injured reserve with torn left anterior cruciate ligament suffered during preseason. ... Fullback rushed for 301 yards as a senior at Penn State and served as lead blocker for 1,000-yard backs as both a senior and junior.

ROOKIES

Tyler Gaffney
Drafted in sixth round after posting 2,500 career rushing yards and 33 touchdowns at Stanford. ... Praised for his ability in blitz pickup and familiarity with power running scheme.

Darrin Reaves
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent from Alabama-Birmingham. ... Ended career second in school history with 30 total touchdowns and 27 rushing touchdowns and third with 2,337 rushing yards.