With Panthers’ preseason football right around the corner, here are some Panthers that should and should not play in the preseason.
Panthers who should play in the preseason:
-Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Matt Corral
No quarterback should be excluded from receiving playing time in the preseason. If this truly is an open competition as Matt Rhule is implying, all three guys need to play. Plus, all three quarterbacks could use the reps: Baker needs the opportunity to further gel with the offense, Sam needs to prove he belongs on an NFL team, and Matt just needs to get his feet wet in the NFL.
If Matt Rhule is serious about not starting Ikem Ekwonu, then he better give Ekwonu his reps in the preseason. Let him get his feet wet in the NFL and show the fans why he maybe should not start. Drafting a tackle sixth overall in the draft and then not starting him would be absolutely inexcusable by the coaching staff without proven valid reasoning.
-Chuba Hubbard and Donta Foreman
The Panthers have three unique running backs who all have different specialties. Unfortunately, with CMC being the undisputed first-team running back, Chuba Hubbard and Donta Foreman will likely not receive a large number of opportunities to work with the first-team offense. Preseason is the time for that. Give Chuba and Donta first-team reps in the preseason and get the offense familiar with the style of plays they may run with a power back in the game like Foreman compared to a more explosive back such as McCaffrey.
Panthers who should not play in the preseason:
No need to even flirt with the idea of risking Carolina’s most valuable player in a preseason game. If he goes down as he has in the past, the Panthers’ offense is doomed. This is should be an absolute no-brainer: Do not play McCaffrey!
Donte Jackson is a good player, but he is one that can break down as the season goes on. He has yet to play a full season in the NFL without sustaining a significant injury. Perhaps, the Panthers could help him prevent that by not playing him in the preseason.
An injury to Brian Burns would hurt the defense more than any other player on the roster. He has nothing to prove entering the preseason. Don’t risk your best pass rusher here! This is his third year in Phil Snow’s system. He should not suffer immensely from losing some reps in the preseason.
What do you think?