Artis-Payne finished with seven rushes for 18 yards and a touchdown in Friday's 27-20 win over the Dolphins in the second preseason game.
Artis-Payne found the end zone on a five-yard rush to begin the fourth quarter. He started the Panthers' next drive before making way for Kenjon Barner. While him playing ahead of Barner suggests he entered Friday higher in the pecking order, Barner's final tally of 72 yards on five carries certainly made things interesting. Behind Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson, it remains to be seen who'll be named Carolina's third tailback, so Artis-Payne and Barner's battle could be worth monitoring over the final two exhibition outings.
Artis-Payne rushed five times for one yard in Thursday's 28-23 win over the Bills in the preseason opener.
Artis-Payne led the Panthers in carries, yet barely found any room to run. It's notable that his first touch came in the second quarter, while fellow tailback and competitor Kenjon Barner didn't get his first carry until the fourth. Look for those two to use the remaining three exhibition tilts to jockey for position behind Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson.
A 2015 fifth-round pick, Artis-Payne has taken 99 carries for 422 yards (4.3 average) and four touchdowns in 23 career games, getting most of his playing time when Jonathan Stewart was injured. The Panthers' decision not to draft a running back suggested the 25-year-old would replace Stewart, but the team then signed C.J. Anderson on Monday to fill the role. Artis-Payne now figures to compete with Fozzy Whittaker for the No. 3 job behind Anderson and Christian McCaffrey.
While it would've been surprising if Carolina used an early pick on a running back for a second straight year, it did seem likely that the team would find a body in the middle or late rounds to compete with Artis-Payne for Jonathan Stewart's old role. The Panthers will still bring in competition in the form of undrafted free agents -- and possibly a veteran at some point -- but the decision to pass on a running back in the draft does hint at some degree of confidence in Artis-Payne and Christian McCaffrey. A 2015 fifth-round pick, Artis-Payne is comparable to the 2016-17 version of Stewart, offering good power and size but limited speed and pass-game skills. He's taken 99 caries for 422 yards (4.3 average) and four touchdowns in 23 career games, doing most of his damage in contests Stewart missed. McCaffrey also figures to take on some of the 198 carries that went to Stewart last season.
|11||11/18/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|