Here’s a quote from Panthers’ offensive coordinator Dan Henning on rookie running back Eric Shelton:
Somewhere along the line, we would like to see Eric Shelton become a featured back in the NFL. There is a lot of road that has to be traveled before we see that and can be sure of that.
We are completely up in the air about Stephen Davis. So we were in a position of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If we hadn’t taken Eric Shelton or someone like him, and Stephen didn’t come back, then we would be short. I mean, we could still play with who we had (DeShaun Foster and Nick Goings), but we’re looking for a big, strong, power back to take the ball 25 times a game. Now if Stephen comes back, we may end up long-handed there. But we felt like that was a better situation to be in than to be short. So that’s why we took him. We’re hoping he will become a featured back. When and how long that takes, who knows?
Foster can’t be too happy with that quote. Keep in mind, though, that the Panthers may be still smarting from Tim Biakabatuka’s injury-plagued stint with them, and the idea of another fragile running back just won’t fly in this offense.