4 most important Panthers players against the Raiders

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Kawann Short /

Kawann Short – DT

Getting Kawann Short back to full health is a substantial boost for the Carolina Panthers. The veteran defensive tackle looked like the player of old during training camp and there are high hopes regarding his ability to make a lasting impression in 2020.

Short has proven quality that needs no introduction. He is equally adept at stopping the run or getting in the backfield consistently and it was no surprise that the Panthers had one of the NFL’s worst run defenses in his absence.

Whether this will be Short’s final season in Carolina is not important right now. The Pro Bowler will be tasked not only with performing to the high level expected. But the former Purdue standout is going to play the role of support system to No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown during his rookie campaign.

First up for Short will be stopping the duo of running back Josh Jacobs and quarterback Derek Carr. Both can influence a game considerably given time and it will be up to the defensive line to provide as much pressure as possible to relieve pressure on their secondary.

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Making Short a team captain is a further indication of his importance to the roster and the Panthers will need him at his brilliant best from the first snap to last.