Whenever you pull up the checklist of prime rushers within the NFL this season there’s no scarcity of wonderful performances. Josh Jacobs gaining a primary down on 28 % of his carries, Derrick Henry’s 13 dashing touchdowns, the breakout of Travis Etienne right into a 1,250 yard all-purpose again — however buried additional down the stat sheet is a participant on the verge of getting A LOT of consideration out of nowhere: D’Onta Foreman.
A profession journeyman, Foreman was signed by the Panthers this offseason as nothing greater than depth insurance coverage for Christian McCaffrey. Now he’s develop into their most vital offensive weapon within the funniest, least in all probability playoff run in current reminiscence. Foreman has run for 774 yards in 9 video games since taking up as function again following the McCaffrey commerce in late October, dashing for over 100 yards in 5 on these video games — and contesting a number of the NFL’s elite backs in quite a few statistical areas.
- 21.9 % dashing first downs (higher than Dalvin Prepare dinner and Jonathan Taylor)
- 7 runs of 20+ yards (higher than Travis Etienne and Austin Ekeler)
- 4.6 yards-per-attempt (higher than Ezekiel Elliot, Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley)
- 1 fumble (fewer than Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry)
Week 16 was Foreman’s magnum opus, as Foreman ran for 165 yards in opposition to the Lions en path to incomes NFC Offensive Participant of the Week honors. A part of that is attributable to the Panthers’ simplistic, however efficient working schemes, and Carolina’s shocking offensive line, anchored by Ikem Ekwonu who has been a revelation in his rookie season — however a number of that is immediately due to Foreman himself.
That is what leads us to an amazing quandary for the Panthers: Whether or not they can now afford to maintain Foreman? He was solely signed to a 1 yr, $200Ok deal, becoming the function (or lack thereof) they anticipated him to play — however now he’s thriving inside their system and placing up numbers on par with backs who’re paid 20-30 occasions the quantity. Whereas he’s not going to command prime again cash, there might be a considerable pay elevate in 2023 — and it’ll be incumbent on the Panthers whether or not they’re prepared to be that crew, or would sooner let him depart to economize and recoup a compensatory choose.
A crew in want of a working again will, on the very least, give him a considerable elevate. Will probably be effectively deserved for a participant who has been within the NFL since 2017, on his fifth crew, and clinging to a back-end roster spot. Foreman’s story is without doubt one of the finest within the league this yr, and can solely acquire extra steam ought to the Panthers be capable to full their exceptional rebound from a sorry, tanking group within the cellar of the NFL — to successful the NFC South, a transfer Carolina nonetheless has in its management.
In case your crew’s lacking piece is a working again then you definitely finest begin listening to Carolina now, as a result of D’Onta Foreman is hitting his stride, and might be the best choice in free company in 2023.