Former Texas running back Fozzy Whittaker made the Carolina Panthers 53-man roster this past weekend after an impressive training camp and preseason showing.
The Panthers made final roster cuts on Friday--included in those was former Texas cornerback and undrafted free-agent Carrington Byndom. Byndom made it through waivers and will be retained on the Panthers' practice squad.
I had the good fortune of covering sports this summer for the Charlotte Observer--including the Panthers. Whittaker impressed everyone in the organization. His hard work and on-field results moved him from being a bubble player to having an assured spot on the roster.
The Panthers were placed in an unusual predicament in late July when it lost rookie running back Tyler Gaffney to the Patriots while trying to sneak him through waivers after he suffered a season-ending injury. Whittaker, who had been brought in to fill his spot from the Browns, was competing for a spot with former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner and rookie Darrin Reaves.
Barner, who the Panthers drafted in 2013, struggled immensely in preseason and was traded to the Eagles in mid-August--where he was reunited with his former head coach Chip Kelly.
Whittaker will be the third running back on the roster--behind veterans DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. His best chance at making an impact will be on special teams, where the Panthers will need a playmaking returner after losing Ted Ginn Jr. last offseason.
A quick reminder of Whittaker's skill-set: