4 big takeaways from Panthers unofficial 2020 depth chart

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Chris Manhertz and Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas is a TE2?

One of the things that instantly jumped out regarding the Carolina Panthers’ unofficial 2020 depth chart was the position of Ian Thomas. The tight end was listed second behind Chris Manhertz, which was something of a surprise given the expectations on his shoulders.

This might have everything to do with the toe injury that Thomas is currently dealing with. This could jeopardize his chances of taking the field in Week 1 if he doesn’t come through practice sessions this week unscathed and this worth keeping a close eye on in the lead-up to game day.

Manhertz has come on a significant amount during training camp. He has always been seen primarily as a blocking tight end, which is something the Panthers might prefer from their No. 1 option given the uncertainty surrounding their protection heading into the campaign.

Both are probably going to see plenty of the field as the season goes on. But it is hard to deny that there is more riding on what comes next for Thomas than Manhertz.

Carolina placed a substantial amount of faith in the former Indiana standout to fill the void left by Greg Olsen and any complications regarding form or health could be detrimental to his chances of making a prominent starting position his own.

Thomas is the better pass-catcher and offensive coordinator Joe Brady utilized tight ends heavily during his historic season leading LSU’s passing attack to a National Championship. One probably shouldn’t read too much into this given the lack of any real options behind the starting duo.