4 options if Panthers TE Ian Thomas goes down with injury

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

What are some of the options available to the Carolina Panthers if tight end Ian Thomas was forced to miss time through injury?

The Carolina Panthers placed a significant amount of faith in Ian Thomas this offseason. The tight end will get the keys to the kingdom after they decided to part ways with experienced veteran Greg Olsen in free agency. This might have been in keeping with their strong will to go younger. But it piles the pressure on the new No. 1 to fill the enormous void left by the Pro Bowler.

Thomas has plenty of strong physical attributes at his disposal. His athleticism and size should make him a nightmare to go down the field. But the former Indiana standout will need to cut out silly mistakes that cost him during his sophomore campaign.

This might come with more time in the lineup. But there does not appear to be any real depth behind Thomas thanks to the Panthers’ lack of desire to bring in any notable help during free agency or the 2020 NFL Draft.

He suffered an injury scare in training camp recently that thankfully is anything more than a hyperextended toe. Thomas should be ready to go for Carolina’s Week 1 opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. But it is a situation the organization needs to monitor closely.

Here are four options that the Panthers might contemplate going with if the 2018 fourth-round pick needs to miss time at any stage of the season.