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 Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Charles Clay /

Charles Clay

If Ian Thomas sat out a significant period through injury then it would force the Carolina Panthers to bring in a veteran in free agency. This is something that they did not opt to go with this spring as they looked to give their new No. 1 option a big vote of confidence. But given the relative unreliability of other individuals on the roster from a pass-catching perspective, this would be the smart way to go in this scenario.

One intriguing player who remains on the lookout for a new home is Charles Clay. He has been a prolific presence during his career and appears to still have something left in the tank if his efforts with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 are any indication.

Clay is a more dependable catcher than anything behind Thomas on the Panthers’ depth chart. The player has a career catch success rate of 65.9 percent on his way to stats that include 357 receptions, 3.868 receiving yards, 28 touchdowns, and a yards-per-reception average of 10.8.

This production would be a big boost if the Panthers lost Thomas. Clay is experienced enough to come in a slot into the system right away and this move might even be made if the former fourth-round pick fails to reach expectations in the early stages of the campaign.