Panthers name RB Chuba Hubbard starter for Week 9

Halfway into his first season of a four-year, $25.4 million deal, Miles Sanders is not the every-down back the Carolina Panthers were hoping he’d be.

On Friday, head coach Frank Reich officially named Chuba Hubbard as the team’s starting running back for their Week 9 contest against the Indianapolis Colts. This’ll mark the third straight game in which the third-year rusher gets the starting nod.

Hubbard has had a solid start to the 2023 campaign. He’s run for 270 yards and a touchdown on 69 attempts while also having reeled in 15 receptions for 85 more yards.

Sanders, on the other hand, has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments thus far. He’s recorded 190 rushing yards and one score on 63 carries, which has been good enough for a career-low average of 3.0 yards per tote.

Nonetheless, Reich believes in Sanders moving forward.

“I have a lot of confidence in Miles,” he told reporters following today’s practice. “Sometimes at running back, I’ve seen this happen before. Somebody gets the hot hand like Chubs has the hot hand a little bit and the game flow goes a certain way for a few games. We got a lot of football left. Have a lot of faith and confidence in Miles.

“Again, I’d go back to say some of the start of the season was just how unproductive our offense was early on in general. It wasn’t Miles. We were pretty unproductive to start. I think it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I hope to see Miles get back to bein’ more involved and it bein’ an even rotation. We love Chuba, we love what Raheem [Blackshear] brings to the table.”

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire