Carolina Panthers training camp: 3 questions at the TE position

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Chris Manhertz, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Chris Manhertz /

Carolina Panthers Question No. 2: Who is the TE2 option?

The depth at tight end behind Ian Thomas is thin, to say the least. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of notable contributor if things don’t turn out as expected with their No. 1 option. And we will probably find out more about who can secure the TE2 position for the Carolina Panthers during training camp.

Chris Manhertz might be the favorite going in. But he has always been seen more as a blocking tight end that might actually come in handy from a protection perspective for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey.

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Manhertz is a popular member of the locker room who is never found wanting for effort. But it is important that the Panthers play to his strengths rather than asking the player to do things he isn’t particularly good at.

There is plenty of intrigue surrounding the undrafted free-agent duo of Giovanni Ricci and Cam Sutton. But putting too much on their shoulders early on would have a detrimental impact. And they might not even do enough to make the 53-man roster.

They also have unproven players such as Temarrick Hemingway and Colin Thompson fighting for recognition during camp. But they are devoid of any real experience in the NFL.

This leaves more questions than answers regarding the options available outside of Thomas. And the next few weeks will be telling for all involved.