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Chuba Hubbard Productive Spelling Injured Christian McCaffrey

Matt Rhule to Chuba at halftime: “That’s why we drafted you, man.”

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[Photo via: Bruce Waterfield, OSU Athletics]

An NFL backup always has to be ready because you never know when an injury will thrust you into the limelight, and that’s something that played out for rookie running back Chuba Hubbard on Thursday night.

The former Oklahoma State star entered his Panthers’ road game against the Texans as RB2 behind All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, and had totaled just 10 rushing yards through his first two NFL games.

But when McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter, it became the Chuba Show — and he was ready.

Suddenly, the fourth-round pick became the most searched name on fantasy waiver lists.

Chuba finished the night with 11 carries for 52 yards, including a pair of runs for 26 yards that set up the Panthers’ final touchdown drive. He also caught three passes for 27 passing yards, though another dump-off pass would have set him up for a huge gain slipped right through his hands.

But Carolina head coach Matt Rhule had nothing but praise for the rookie who he saw tear it up first-hand when he was at Baylor.

“I told Chuba at halftime, ‘That’s why we drafted you, man.’ I thought Chuba was outstanding,” said Rhule. “At the end of the half, we didn’t give him a ton of chances, but I thought he got in there at the end and made some key runs.”

“We just have to step up whenever our name is called. We’re professional athletes so, when my name was called I just tried to do my job,” said Chuba to Panthers.com.

McCaffrey is expected to miss “a few weeks” as the franchise continue to do tests on his injured hamstring, according to NFL insider Ian Rappaport. Hubbard is likely to get the lion’s share of the Panthers’ carries until CMC is able to return.

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