3 Panthers players who need to step up in Eli Apple’s absence

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Corn Elder /

Corn Elder

Corn Elder fought hard to make his way onto the 53-man roster. He has plenty of preferred options ahead of him ahead of training camp. But the cornerback impressed the Carolina Panthers enough to make the team.

This is an achievement in itself for Elder. But with Eli Apple going down with an injury it might even result in the player getting some substantial time on the field in Week 1 and possibly beyond.

The former Miami standout has been a bit-part player after being taken in the fifth round by the Panthers in 2017. He recorded 158 combined tackles, 117 solo tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, three interceptions, and 27 pass deflections at the college level. But this hasn’t made a successful transition to the big leagues so far.

Elder was one of the biggest surprises of camp in terms of production. He more than held his own against Carolina’s outstanding wide receivers and his ability to play on the outside or in the slot is another thing that the player has going for him.

This is the opportunity that Elder has been waiting for. He signed a two-year, $1.23 million deal in Week 11 of the 2019 season and if he can show promise in a competitive setting then it might convince the decision-makers to extend his stay in Carolina.

A lot has to happen between now and then. If Elder fails to bring his solid training camp form onto the field, it will not take long for defensive coordinator Phil Snow to go in a different direction.