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Panthers 2021 season opener countdown: 5 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2021 season.

Washington Redskins v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

We’re only five days away from the start of the Panthers’ 2021 season, and since the Panthers currently don’t have a player wearing No. 5, today’s countdown piece will be dedicated to one of our most recent acquisitions (who currently does not have a number for Carolina) — running back Royce Freeman.

The Panthers claimed the 25-year-old Freeman (6-0, 238) after he was waived by the Broncos on August 31. Freeman was selected by Denver in the third round (No. 71 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft and spent the first three years of his career with the Broncos. He played college football at Oregon.

Here’s a brief summary of his three-year career with the Broncos, courtesy of the Panthers’ website:

Rushed for 1,187 yards on 297 carries with 8 touchdowns and caught 69 passes for 409 yards with one touchdown in his first three NFL seasons with Denver (2018-20). Saw action in 16 games with the Broncos in 2019, rushing 132 times for 496 yards (3.8 avg.) with three touchdowns while recording 43 receptions for 256 yards (5.9 avg.) with one touchdown. Rushed 130 times for 521 yards (4.0 avg.) with five touchdowns during his initial season with Denver in 2018.

The Panthers added Freeman to to the roster to have a ‘big, bruising back’ to complement Christian McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard, so he’ll likely get the majority of his carries in short yardage situations. There’s also a chance they use him as a fullback in some formations depending on whether or not Giovanni Ricci is active.

What do you think, Panthers fans? What are you expecting from Freeman this year? Do you think this was a good pickup for Carolina? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us!