Oct 16, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard (30) carries the ball against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard (ankle) ruled out for Sunday

Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard will miss Sunday’s game at Cincinnati with an ankle injury.

The Panthers ruled Hubbard out for a second straight week after he did not practice Friday. He did limited work on Wednesday and Thursday.

D’Onta Foreman will once again carry the load for the Panthers (2-6) against the Bengals (4-4), with rookie Raheem Blackshear providing backup.

The Panthers will also be without safety Juston Burris (concussion) and wide receiver Rashard Higgins (illness). Tight end Stephen Sullivan (illness) is doubtful, while cornerback Donte Jackson (ankle) and defensive end Amare Barno (knee) are questionable.

Hubbard, 23, carried nine times for 63 yards and a touchdown in the Week 7 win against Tampa Bay. It was his first start of the season following the trade of Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco.

Foreman, 26, followed up a 118-yard effort against the Buccaneers by rushing for another 118 yards and three TDs in last Sunday’s 37-34 overtime loss at Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Kaden Elliss (55) tackles Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey not spotted at practice

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was not spotted on the field for Thursday’s practice, multiple media outlets reported.

McCaffrey also missed Wednesday’s session due to a thigh injury. Coach Matt Rhule labeled the status of his star player as “day-to-day” on Wednesday.

Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman likely would split carries should McCaffrey sit out Sunday’s game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals (1-2). Hubbard has rushed four times for 28 yards this season for the Panthers (1-2), while Foreman has four carries for 14 yards.

McCaffrey, 26, is coming off his second consecutive 100-yard performance last Sunday after he finished with 108 in Carolina’s 22-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

McCaffrey is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with 243. He also has 10 catches for 57 yards through three games.

McCaffrey played in just 10 of a possible 33 games over the past two seasons due to ankle and shoulder issues.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard (30) runs the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the fourth quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers honor request, tab RB Chuba Hubbard in fourth round

The Carolina Panthers were on the clock during the fourth round of Saturday’s NFL draft when coach Matt Rhule received a text.

It was his wife, Julie, and she had a succinct message: Draft Chuba Hubbard.

Peace at the dinner table was maintained when Rhule and the Panthers followed the instructions and tabbed the Oklahoma State running back with the 126th overall selection.

Rhule broke the news to Hubbard when they chatted on the phone shortly after the pick was announced in Cleveland, where all seven rounds of the draft was held over three days starting with the first round on Thursday night.

“This is true. I got to tell you this, man,” Rhule said to Hubbard in a video released by the Panthers. “About 10 minutes ago, my wife texted me and said ‘please take Chuba Hubbard.’ So she speaks, it happens. We’re excited to have you, man.”

Carolina owner David Tepper got on the phone and verified the text was legitimate while speaking to Hubbard.

The Panthers will be hoping Julie Rhule has an eye for talent and that Hubbard can be a solid backup to star runner Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey had a season for the ages in 2019 but played in just three games due to injuries last season. Now-departed journeyman Mike Davis filled in admirably but his limitations also made it clear Carolina needed to upgrade the position.

Hubbard had a huge season in 2019 when he rushed for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns for Oklahoma State. But things didn’t go as well in the COVID-19 plagued 2020 campaign as he rushed for just 625 yards and five touchdowns in seven games before an ankle injury halted his season.

But Rhule, who once coached at Baylor, hasn’t forgotten that day that mid-October day in 2019 when Hubbard rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

“I couldn’t sit there and watch you run wild on me all those years at Baylor and not take you when I had the chance,” Rhule said.

Hubbard wasn’t the only big name to go in the fourth round. Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 133rd overall pick.

Book stands just 6 feet tall, which is on the small slope of NFL signal callers. But the Saints had a small-size quarterback for the past 15 seasons in legendary Drew Brees, the sure Hall of Famer who retired after last season.

So naturally, another chapter about Book’s height was being written after the player who was 30-5 as a starter in college went to New Orleans.

“That’s just been the story my whole entire life,” Book told reporters of his height after being selected. “I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. You know, I’m not getting any taller. And Drew Brees has been able to do it — there’s many other quarterbacks, you can go down the list, that have been able to do it.

“We’re different players, but we’re similar in stature. And (Brees) proved to everybody down there and in the world that he could do it. And I want to do the same thing, and I just feel like I fit in that system well. You know, those are big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt about it, but that’s an exciting challenge for me.”

Sam Ehlinger of Texas was the only other quarterback picked in the final four rounds. He went in the sixth round (218th selection) to the Indianapolis Colts.

Ehlinger passed for 11,436 yards and 94 touchdowns for the Longhorns, second in both categories behind Colt McCoy (13,253 yards, 112 touchdowns from 2006-09).

The New York Jets had a unique draft oddity by picking two players named Michael Carter.

The Jets selected Michael Carter, a running back from North Carolina, in the fourth round, and then selected cornerback Michael Carter II of Duke in the fifth round.

The Carters certainly are highly familiar with each other. They played against each other in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The running back Carter finished his North Carolina career in fourth place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,404 career yards after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

“We were really excited about Michael Carter, just his elusiveness and his explosive playmaking ability,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said of the back.

New York coach Robert Saleh was just as excited about the defensive back Carter, who can play both cornerback and safety.

“He’s one of those guys with great versatility.” Saleh said. “Tremendous speed. He’s very sticky in coverage and he’s tremendous mentally in terms of absorbing information and play multiple spots.

The final selection of the 259-player draft, known as Mr. Irrelevant, was Houston linebacker Grant Stuard.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Chris Hubbard (74) in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Browns place OL Hubbard (knee) on IR

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday placed versatile offensive lineman Chris Hubbard on injured reserve due to the knee injury he sustained during Sunday night’s victory over the New York Giants.

According to Cleveland.com, Hubbard will undergo season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair torn ligaments and a dislocated kneecap in his right knee.

Hubbard started Sunday’s game in place of right guard Wyatt Teller (calf) but was injured during the first series of the 20-6 triumph.

Rookie Nick Harris replaced Hubbard and is in line to get his first career start on Sunday against the New York Jets.

The 29-year-old Hubbard started six of 11 games played this season. He also plays tackle and started 14 games at right tackle for the Browns last season.

Overall, Hubbard has started 48 of 80 games played in seven NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2014-17) and Browns (2018-20).

Cleveland also placed safety Elijah Benton on the practice squad/COVID-19 list.

–Field Level Media