4 most important Panthers players vs. Cardinals in Week 4

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

The Carolina Panthers are getting their Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short back against the Cardinals after he missed the last two games through injury, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Derrick Brown is going to be a key component in any success that comes their way.

Brown came to life in Short’s absence at the Chargers, which was his best game at the pro level by some distance. The No. 7 overall pick was a relentless force on the interior against a protection that was missing perennial Pro Bowler and former Panther Trai Turner.

This will give Brown a significant amount of confidence, and getting his partner in crime back on the line of scrimmage is another welcome boost. Short’s presence should mean the ex-Auburn standout gets more room to work in and there should be some opportunities against Justin Pugh.

If the lineman can make his usual impact in the running game and get into the backfield when the opportunity arises, then a win for the Panthers won’t be far behind. Brown came into the NFL with the highest of ceilings after a standout college career and although he has been hit and miss so far, this might be down to having no preseason games before the real action began.

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What is important for Brown is that he builds on last weekend’s outstanding display. That will be easier said than done, but there is no disputing the sort of talent he brings to the table.