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RB Mike Tolbert - Carolina Panthers

5-9, 243Born: 11-23-1985College: Coastal CarolinaDrafted: ---

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Photo: Jake Roth, US Presswire

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Preseason player page

He is listed as probable on this week's official injury report.

News you need to know

From Mark Wimer's Monday injury report (Mon Jan 25): Tolbert (minor knee injury) left the NFC Championship with a knee injury of a minor nature, but he said after the game that there were no issues. Tolbert will be evaluated further on Monday and receive treatment, but this looks like a minor ding as of Monday January 25.

General News (Fri Feb 5): practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this week.

General News (Thu Feb 4): practiced fully on Thursday.

General News (Thu Feb 4): is hopeful Super Bowl 50 Sunday, Feb. 7, against the Denver Broncos is not his last with the team. "We'll take of all the business aspects of my contract after the season. I would love to stay, but you never know what happens. We'll see," Tolbert said Wednesday, February 4.

General News (Wed Feb 3): practiced fully on Wednesday.

Week 21: at Denver Broncos

All RB vs DEN

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Panthers' RB Jonathan Stewart (sore ankle), who missed practice all of last week, was back on the practice field Monday, February 1. As Stewart is an experienced veteran, we are not concerned that Stewart took off the bye week to rest and recuperate for the ultimate game of the season. He should be ready to rock for the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Stewart dominated the Seahawks during the Divisional Round of the playoffs, posting 19/106/2 rushing with 1/5/0 receiving as the Panthers started hot (a 31-0 lead over Seattle) and then hung on to win 31-24. Mike Tolbert was second on the club with 7/17/0 rushing in that game, while Cam Newton was neatly contained in this phase of the game by the Seahawks, winding up with just three yards rushing out of 11 attempts. Against Arizona in the Conference Championship game, Stewart led the team in rushing with 19/83/0 on the ground, and added 2/5/0 receiving, while Newton piled up 10/47/2 rushing during the 49-15 rout of the Cardinals. Mike Tolbert was quiet with 3/4/0 rushing and 1/14/0 receiving - all three players will be in the mix to some extent on Sunday, with Stewart and Newton likely to handle most of the rushes. Denver was third in the NFL last season averaging 83.6 yards rushing allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores given up over 16 games. Over the final four weeks of regular season, the Broncos gave up a miserly 10.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (third-least in the NFL). Pittsburgh posted 19/85/1 rushing in Denver; New England managed 17/44/1 rushing there during the Conference Championship game. During the postseason, Denver is second among the 12 playoff teams averaging 64.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores handed over. It is not easy to run on Denver this year - this is a tough matchup for Stewart, Newton, and company.

Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs TB 37 10 59 0 1 1 5 0 0 6.4
19 vs SEA 0 7 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.7
20 vs ARI 0 3 4 0 1 1 14 0 0 1.8
21 at DEN 0 5 18 0 1 0 0 0 1 -0.2
21 at DEN PROJ-Dodds * 2 * * 1 * * * *
21 at DEN PROJ-Tremblay * 1 * * 1 * * * *
21 at DEN PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * 1 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 19 vs SEA (7 / 17 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

With the Panthers in full control entering the second half, Mike Tolbert got a few touches - but was met quickly by a disciplined Seattle defense that was playing to stop the run. Tolbert's biggest play might have been his recovery of an early Cameron Artis-Payne fumble that could have changed the momentum on Carolina's opening drive. Tolbert failed to stamp his authority in short yardage situations, but was often met by a wall of blue jerseys.

2015 Week 17 vs TB (10 / 59 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

With Jonathan Stewart still missing due to a foot injury, Mike Tolbert got the first totes in this contest and looked powerful and swift early on, punishing defenders and showing nifty open field moves. Sharing the carries almost evenly with rookie Cameron Artis-Payne, Tolbert's gritty style allowed the offense to keep grinding out tough yards, with the offensive line doing an excellent job blocking it up. Tolbert was unlucky not to cash in with a touchdown on a goal line carry.

2015 Week 16 vs ATL (2 / 12 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)

The rushing offense was a small bright spot in what was otherwise a forgettable day in Atlanta, and Mike Tolbert's powerful inside running and soft hands played their part. Tolbert showed off his power on a run behind left guard, dragging a tackler along for the ride and bulldozing a defender in his path. In the two-minute drill at the end of the game, Cam Newton looked twice to Tolbert on quick passes, one of which the big back managed to stick with one hand. Among the three backs, however, Tolbert was the third option. He saw more work late after an injury forced Fozzy Whittaker out of the game.

2015 Week 15 vs NYG (5 / 10 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Mike Tolbert got the first touches among the running back contingent, but made very little of them against a Giants front that stifled the Panthers' rushing attack very effectively. Tolbert was primarily used in short yardage situations and even then he did not get the football.

2015 Week 14 vs ATL (6 / 17 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

Involved early as a check-down option in the two-minute drill, Mike Tolbert saw more action in the second half after Jonathan Stewart was allowed to sit due to injury. Tolbert showed his trademark power and deceptive movement skills on his handful of touches, but most of his action came against an Atlanta defense playing out the string.

2015 Week 13 vs NO (2 / 33 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 18 / 1 rec)

A bigger factor than would normally be the case, Mike Tolbert found success against a Saints defense high on effort but short on execution. The hulking back caught a short touchdown pass against a Saints jailbreak blitz, sneaking into the left flat and catching a quick Cam Newton flip pass for the easy walk-in score. Later, he broke off a bruising 20+ yard carry, showing good patience behind his blockers and bursting into the secondary.

2015 Week 12 vs DAL (4 / 16 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Spelling Jonathan Stewart late in the game was the extent of Mike Tolbert's contribution, although he contributed as usual in the short yardage game, converting a couple of third-and-short opportunities. Although he is a versatile chess piece to have in the Panthers' arsenal, they will not use him as more than a battering ram unless their hand is forced by injury.

2015 Week 11 vs WAS (7 / 5 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 5 / 1 rec)

Besides spelling Jonathan Stewart in the latter stages of a game Carolina controlled for the majority, Mike Tolbert managed to get into the end zone on a quick pass off play action. Tolbert sneaked into the right flat and Newton needed only drop off a quick ball in his direction for the score.

2015 Week 10 vs TEN (3 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

The bruising back converted on a dive play early, getting the necessary yardage after showing good patience to let the blocks develop. Later, Tolbert showed good awareness to make himself available as a check down in the left flat after spotting that the safety in coverage against him had bailed. Tolbert missed a key pass block in the second half that resulted in a sack and appeared to be scolded by Newton afterwards. A late goal-line carry was stuffed by the Titans and resulted in a loss.

2015 Week 9 vs GB (3 / 7 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Primarily used as a blocking back in this game, Mike Tolbert only carried the football a couple of times, with both efforts being stopped short by a stingy Green Bay rush defense that surrendered little to the Panthers.

2015 Week 8 vs IND (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 40 / 0 rec)

Mike Tolbert made a splash play on a simple check down pass from Newton, who brilliantly kept the play alive with subtle moves in the pocket. Tolbert, in to pass protect on the play, flaired out into the left flat and made himself available. Newton floated a nice pass to him and the hulking full-back did the rest, trundling down the sideline for a 40-yard gain.

2015 Week 7 vs PHI (3 / 16 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 1 rec)

Mike Tolbert showed his versatility and value to this offense with a two-touchdown performance against the Eagles. It was in the red zone that the Panthers called his number, and he duly delivered, converting on a 1-yard plunge and a pass into the flat. The latter was the most impressive of Tolbert's work, however, as he shook off an initial tackle attempt, juked inside and bulldozed his way into the end zone. The Eagles will be disappointed with their attempts to make a play, but Tolbert's desire was obvious. Spelling Jonathan Stewart - when he wasn't lead blocking for his backfield compatriot - Tolbert showed good burst and got what was blocked for him, including a nice burst of pace around left tackle.

2015 Week 6 vs SEA (3 / 10 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Mike Tolbert was again the designated short yardage back, although he was brought in on a couple of plays to spell Jonathan Stewart as well. Tolbert managed to bull forward for a first down on an inside give on 3rd-and-2, but came up short on his next attempt.

2015 Week 4 vs TB (3 / 7 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

In a game that offered few opportunities, Mike Tolbert was handed an early red zone carry that came up a few yards short of pay dirt, but otherwise played a complementary role in a straightforward victory for the Panthers.

2015 Week 3 vs NO (5 / 16 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 28 / 0 rec)

Mike Tolbert continues to show what a versatile weapon he can be for this offense. Utilized as a true full-back, a pass catcher, a tail back and more, Tolbert is a jack of all trades. Tolbert was the first option behind Jonathan Stewart in the red zone, and came close to breaking one or two carries for a touchdown in that area of the field. A no-nonsense north and south runner, Tolbert punished Saints defenders at the end of his carries. He showed soft hands and a nice move on a screen pass. With this performance, he staked a claim for more playing time.

2015 Week 2 vs HOU (5 / 31 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)

A leaner Mike Tolbert looked mean against a fearsome Texans front seven, contributing to the offense's effort with some bullish carries and catches. Tolbert continues to surprise defenders with his suddenness and pace as a ball carrier. He showed excellent patience and vision to bounce a run outside right tackle, giving the defenders in pursuit a little shoulder fake before beating them to the sideline. Trusted as a pass blocker, Tolbert was a fixture of the Panthers' game plan against a Texans pass rush that provided plenty of resistance.


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