The Carolina Panthers will go with a backfield by committee Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, although head coach Ron Rivera was not ready to name a committee chair.
Rivera said second-year back Cameron Artis-Payne likely will start in place of the injured Jonathan Stewart, who could be out as long as a month with a hamstring injury.
But Rivera said Artis-Payne will not necessarily get the bulk of the carries. The plan is to spread the carries among Artis-Payne, fullback Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker, who had his first NFL 100-yard rushing game last week against San Francisco after replacing Stewart in the first quarter.
“For the most part we are is not built around one guy. Jonathan does bring a little something different. There is a physicality to the way he plays and runs the ball,” Rivera said. “But I think Cameron does a nice job. I think he’s a physical style runner. He’s not Jonathan, but you’ve got a good mix of guys. It’s going to be a collaboration of players.”
Besides Stewart, the Panthers are in good shape injury-wise.
Defensive tackle Kawann Short (shoulder) and right guard Trai Turner (ankle) are listed as questionable but both will play, Rivera said. Rookie linebacker Jeremy Cash is doubtful with a hamstring issue.