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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 33 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season.

Miami Dolphins v Tennessee Titans Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

We’re 33 days away from the Panthers 2022 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 33 on the roster — running back D’Onta Foreman.

Foreman is still a bit of a mystery to me but he appears on the right track after a solid year in Tennessee to resurrect his career.

Remember, this is a guy who put up over 2,000 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016 during his junior year at Texas. Granted, this happened in the defense optional Big 12, but it was still impressive. He also took home the Doak Walker Award that year as college football’s finest running back.

I thought he was going to be an every down back for the Houston Texans when they took him in the third round of the 2017 draft. It didn’t work out that way and 2017 turned out a bit rocky for him. He had been coping with his infant son’s death in 2016 and then in the summer of 2017 Foreman was arrested in Austin on charges of possession of marijuana and unlawful carrying of a weapon. In Week 11 of that rookie season he tore his Achilles tendon on a touchdown run.

The Texans parted ways with Foreman after two seasons, before the 2019 preseason, citing poor work habits and being late to team meetings.

Foreman bounced around from Indianapolis to Tennessee to Atlanta, but managed to sign back on with the Titans in 2021 and made a solid impact. Backing up Derrick Henry, Foreman rushed 133 times for 566 yards and three touchdowns last season.

I’d call it a career-resurrecting year and I do have decent hopes for him this season. In Tennessee he looked like a legitimately large human running down hill. He looked like a beast and it was easy to spot.

I think it was a good pickup for the Panthers given Christian McCaffrey’s injury history and Chubba Hubbard’s inexperience. The question really is how well the offensive line can hold up in front of him.