4 sneaky threats the Panthers should worry about at the Falcons

(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Takkarist McKinley
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Takkarist McKinley /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Russell Gage /

Russell Gage – WR

There appears to be some doubt as to whether Julio Jones will be fit enough to take his place in the lineup. The stud wide receiver hasn’t practiced all week with a hamstring injury that leaves his status as questionable and it would be another huge boost to the Carolina Panthers if he was forced to sit this one out.

Jones’ potential absence might actually be good news for Russell Gage, a talented wideout who is looking to build on a positive start to the season with more responsibility on his shoulders.

Gage has brought in 19 of 26 targets in 2020 to date. This has come with 208 receiving yards, one touchdown, and an eye-catching 75.6 grade from Pro Football Focus through Week 4.

This has also increased the level of trust from quarterback Matt Ryan, who has developed a nice chemistry with Gage this season. Regardless of whether Jones is able to suit up or not, if the Panthers do not account for the former sixth-round pick’s whereabouts at all times, it might end up costing them.

Gage hasn’t broken the 50-yard receiving mark since his opening game effort of 114 against the Seattle Seahawks. This is a trend that Carolina hopes can continue and it will be up to the likes of Rasul Douglas and Troy Pride Jr. to limit his influence with Donte Jackson tasked with covering the exceptional talent of Calvin Ridley.