Canadian RB Chuba Hubbard wants to take it to the ‘next level’ with Carolina Panthers

Photo courtesy: Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

Canadian running back Chuba Hubbard is becoming comfortable as a starting running back in the NFL.

The game is slowing down for him each snap of meaningful football which is why the 22-year-old foresees increased production in his future.

“I want to take it to the next level. I feel that I can impact the game, I can make big plays,” Hubbard said.

“I want to take one 80 yards to the crib, I want to catch one and take it to the crib, I want to make a big block, I want to be an impact player for our team.”

Hubbard scored his first career NFL touchdown in Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings. It was the first TD by an RB from Canada since Clifton Dawson in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts. That score has the Sherwood Park native believing he can do even more for his team.

“If me breaking off a long run is able to motivate everybody else, get everybody hyped up, then I hope I break off a million 20, 40, 50, 60-yard runs,” Hubbard said.

A hamstring injury suffered in Week 3 by superstar Christian McCaffrey put him on injured reserve and he’s not eligible to return until Week 9 against the New England Patriots. That means Hubbard has two more starts until McCaffrey returns, the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons are the next two opponents.

“Chuba’s been stepping up in a big way to fill the void of Christian for the last couple weeks, he’s been doing a great job of that. We continue to look for him to step up in a big way,” quarterback Sam Darnold said.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound runner has 53 carries for 219 yards (4.1 yards per carry) with one touchdown and eight receptions for 51 yards in his three starts for the injured McCaffrey. Head coach Matt Rhule wants to run the football more and be balanced on offence in Week 7 and beyond.

“I believe consistency is a big thing and I also believe reps and repetition to build that confidence to play to your best ability” Hubbard said. “It’s the NFL, you gotta respect every team.”