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) Chris Manhertz /

Chris Manhertz

The most obvious option for the Carolina Panthers if Ian Thomas missed a considerable period of the 2020 season is Chris Manhertz. The veteran has been seen more as a blocking tight end during his career. But it is clear he has been working incredibly hard during training camp to improve his pass-catching prowess.

Manhertz was often seen spending extra time after practice getting extra work in with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. This is sure to stand him in good stead as he looks to make a bigger impact next time around and there does seem to be an opening for the player to see some prominent game time despite Thomas being the undisputed No. 1 option.

The former Canisius standout has never caught more than two balls in any season. This is something to consider if the Panthers are forced to use him as their primary tight end option in 2020 in the event Thomas is on the sidelines through injury. But getting more targets might be just what he needs to take his game to different heights.

Manhertz has been making all the right noises at camp. He has put the time in to improve elements of his game that need work on. This will have gone down well with the coaching staff and it might be something that goes in his favor next season.