4 Panthers players who underperformed at the Bucs in Week 2

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

This is the second time in as many weeks that Shaq Thompson has appeared on this list. It might seem a bit harsh on the outside linebacker. But it is a reflection on just how important he is to the Carolina Panthers in 2020 and possibly beyond.

Thompson was making plenty of noise regarding his potential to make a substantial leap in production following the shock retirement of legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly. However, this has failed to materialize during the first two games.

The former first-round pick was virtually anonymous at the Buccaneers to record three combined tackles and one solo tackle. His Pro Football Focus grade of 46.0 over a two-game period to open the campaign is a reflection of his disappointing start and Thompson needs to raise his game in no uncertain terms.

There are some who question whether Thompson is capable of such a feat. Not having a security blanket like Kuechly alongside him at the second level is clearly going to take some getting used to. But if there was ever a time for the Washington product to come to the fore in a prominent leadership role, it is now.

Thompson has plenty of time to turn things around and plenty of likable traits to call upon. But there is no getting away from the fact that the Panthers need more from him in the coming weeks.