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 Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Lance Kendricks /

Lance Kendricks

Another reliable weapon that has proven his worth in the NFL is Lance Kendricks. Should Ian Thomas go down for the Carolina Panthers in 2020, then the free-agent should be high on the shortlist of possible replacements.

Kendricks has excelled over the middle during his career. Even though his form was on a downward curve in 2019, there is nothing to suggest he cannot become a plug and play short-term option to keep some of the pressure off Carolina’s dynamic offensive weapons in Thomas’ absence.

The player has a career catch percentage of 61.9 percent, which is solid production from Kendricks over a nine-year span. He was used more of a rotational tight end with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019. But if the Panthers want to more about him then all they have to do is seek the opinions of newly recruited offensive linemen Russell Okung and Michael Schofield.

The former sixth-round pick has career stats of 244 receptions, 2,555 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns, and 125 first downs. Kendricks’ best years might be behind him. But the Panthers could ill-afford to be picky if this potential eventuality played out.

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This would be a low risk, high reward pick-up for the Panthers during a campaign that could literally go either way for the organization. Having another veteran in the locker room wouldn’t hurt given the number of departures across the board this offseason.