4 biggest Panthers disappointments through Week 4 of 2020 season

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Seth Roberts
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Seth Roberts /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /

Tahir Whitehead – Carolina Panthers LB

Tahir Whitehead had the biggest of shoes to fill entering his first season with the Carolina Panthers. He was the man chosen to fill the void left by legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly after the perennial All-Pro broke the hearts of fans everywhere by announcing his retirement after eight glorious seasons with the organization. But his level of play hasn’t been up to scratch so far.

This was the most unenviable of tasks, of that there is little doubt. Absolutely nobody in the NFL right now could hold a torch to Kuechly when he was firing on all cylinders and Whitehead is bearing the brunt of following in the footsteps of one of the game’s greatest ever at the position.

Whitehead has struggled in coverage, which has been evident throughout his career. But what comes as a bigger shock if his inability to assist consistently in running situations at the second level.

The former Temple star was tipped for a renaissance after reuniting with his former college coach, Matt Rhule. Whitehead was given a one-year, $2.5 million deal in free agency and this has come with 23 combined tackles, 11 solo tackles, one fumble recovery, and not much else.

To add insult to injury, the player is among the worst-ranked linebackers by Pro Football Focus through four weeks. There doesn’t appear much in the way of depth behind Whitehead to threaten his place this year, but it would be a huge shock if his stay in Carolina lasted more than one campaign at the rate.