Even though second year running back Brandon Wegher led the Carolina Panthers in carries last Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, Wegher did not show the spark that we all saw last year. Wegher finished the evening with 10 carries for 13 yards, or 1.3 yards a carry. Not a flattering stat, to be sure. But there is more to the story.
After practice today, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera confirmed what many of us saw. Wegher was limited in his play making ability by an offensive line that gave him no room to run.
“He did not have a lot of room to run, which is hard” Rivera confirmed after practice on Monday.
Brandon Wegher has shown flashes of brilliance, from his screen pass receptions and touchdown runs of last preseason, to as recent as his crowd pleasing run at Carolina Panthers Fan Fest two weeks ago. Wegher has shown he has “it”, whatever “it” is.
Although Cameron Artis-Payne still receives more carries with the first and second team than Wegher, the competition for the third running back position is not over. Ron Rivera still wants to see what Wegher is capable of. “He is a young man that has some potential, you just want to see that he gets that opportunity.” Rivera said.
What he means by that, I am not completely sure. Will Wegher finally get a chance to play with the first string offensive line? Or is Rivera simply hoping the second and third string lines play at a higher level. Could the Carolina Panthers be hoping for a quieter preseason from Wegher in the hopes he would be safely stashed away on their practice squad? I have heard this conspiracy theory from more than one Panthers fan.
We may find answers on Saturday afternoon when the Panthers play the Tennessee Titans. Stay tuned as this story unfolds.