Carolina Panthers: Ian Thomas needs to step up against Seattle

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

The Carolina Panthers need Thomas to continue his upward momentum.

With tight end Greg Olsen on the shelf for the time being, the Carolina Panthers had to find another player who would be able to step up in his absence against the Falcons. Fortunately, they did not have to look too far. Ian Thomas, who has been mostly an afterthought this year, was able to fill the void. In short, he filled it nicely.

He had his best game of the season on Sunday against the Falcons. In what was an otherwise dismal performance, he was a bright spot. He caught five passes on 10 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown. A 19-yard catch was his longest of the day. This was his highest statistical output over the course of any game this season.

I thought he was going to have a bigger role in this offense. Obviously, the injury to Cam Newton affected all of that. The Panthers as a team looked away from the tight end a little bit more. Nevertheless, I thought he could be a nice 1-2 punch with Greg Olsen.  Instead Olsen got the majority of the snaps, as he should’ve. He was the starter after all. However, I thought Thomas would be able to carve out a nice role for himself. That hasn’t been the case.

Thomas has been one of the more disappointing players for the Panthers this season. Hopefully, he can use Sunday against Seattle to gain some momentum for 2020. Of course, going up against the Seattle defense is never easy. The good news for Thomas is, Seattle is at the bottom of the league in passing yards given up with 271.15 yards allowed per contest. Even still, the pass rush is something to be reckoned with.

On the year, Thomas has caught 10 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, which was scored on Sunday. It will be interesting to see what type of role he has over these last couple of weeks. I could definitely see him being a factor in these games. Now is his chance to prove that he can be a viable passing threat. Just like last year, he has to make the most of the opportunities he is given. Of course, that is easier said than done. However, given his talents he can definitely get the job done.

It would be great to see Thomas make another huge impact for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. A victory would be nice for this team as it looks to enter a new era come 2020.