CHARLOTTE — The Panthers’ starters are going to play as much as a half against the Steelers, but they’ll be short-handed at running back.
Starter Christian McCaffrey isn’t expected to play tonight, as expected, as the team has held the All-Pro back all preseason. They know he’s going to get plenty of carries once the season starts, so this has been a conscious decision to save some wear on his tires.
So while quarterback Sam Darnold won’t have his bell-cow running back out there with him, the rest of the starting offense is expected to go tonight. Wide receiver DJ Moore was held out last week, but is expected to return.
Running backs Rodney Smith and Reggie Bonnafon aren’t expected to play either. That leaves a lot of work for Chuba Hubbard, Spencer Brown, and Darius Clark.
Also expected to be out tonight are special teamer Trenton Cannon, safety Kenny Robinson, and linebacker Josh Bynes.
On defense, the Panthers’ listed starters should all get a number of series of work in the first half. Click here to view the Panthers’ current depth chart.