Carolina Panthers: Key things to watch against the Chicago Bears
The play of the backup linebackers
The depth at the linebacker spot is something to watch for on Thursday. Obviously, we know what we are going to get from guys like Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, and Bruce Irvin. It’s the guys below them that I’m interested in watching.
Jermaine Carter, Andre Smith, and Marquis Haynes are the guys who are looking up at the first three. None of them have a ton of experience, so these preseason games are definitely for their benefit. They should figure to get a lot of playing time and on Thursday, they should be able to take center stage. Out of the three mentioned, Carter had the most successful 2018 season. He had 13 total tackles, including a tackle for a loss.
We know that the linebackers are very deep group. What I want to see on Thursday is what kind of depth Carolina has at the position. With a veteran group of linebackers, they may need to take some plays off. In addition, all three play physically. They may be nicked up over the course of the season due to injury. Thus, the three backups should be ready. I will be curious to see them play on Thursday, and this is their chance to make a good first impression.