Panthers claim FB Jerome Felton off waivers

Felton (45) is a big, strong blocker and should help pave the road for Double Trouble in 2011.

In their second waiver claim of the off-season the Carolina Panthers have claimed former Detroit Lions FB Jerome Felton. He was also received claim requests from the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, but much like the Kentwan Balmer claim Carolina got the award due to their 2010 record. The immediate reaction is to think Tony Fiametta's concussion is worse than previously thought which could send the young fullback to IR. 

Perhaps the most curious element to the claim of Felton is what appears to be an almost lateral move from one team who deemphasized the fullback position to another. Lions' coach Jim Schwartz might as well have been speaking about the Carolina Panthers when he said

"Our fullback position has been deemphasized [...] We're using different people in those roles. It's where we are as an offense."

This echoes what we've seen from Carolina this pre-season as they routinely utilize tight ends in the backfield rather than Fiametta. On the majority of snaps if the backfield isn't empty we've seen either Ben Hartsock or Richie Brockel in the backfield in favor of Fiametta to ensure there's a better pass catching threat in an H-back role, in this way Felton fills a need. While he may not have much more starting experience than Fiametta (16 careers starts in three years, vs. 11 in two for Fi) he has proven himself to be a legitimate backfield receiving threat. In 2009 the 6-0, 246lbs Felton caught 13 passes for 133 yards while starting 8 games.

Time will tell us whether this was part a possible move of Fiametta to IR, or whether Felton could become a long term replacement at the position. After the jump you can find his career stats.

Tip of the hat to 'PanthersRoar' for the fanpost linking to Rotoworld

CAREER STATSMORE
Season Team Rushing Receiving Fumbles
G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2010 Detroit Lions 16 2 22 76 3.5 9 0 8 54 6.8 19 0 1 1
2009 Detroit Lions 13 8 15 46 3.1 10 0 13 133 10.2 27 0 -- --
2008 Detroit Lions 13 6 2 4 2.0 4 0 9 53 5.9 12 0 -- --
TOTAL 39 126 3.2 10 0 30 240 8.0 27 0 1 1

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