4 Panthers players who need to step up vs. the Bears in Week 6
By Dean Jones
Marquis Haynes – Carolina Panthers DE
There is some doubt as to whether Brian Burns will 100 percent healthy against the Bears on Sunday. The pass-rusher missed a considerable portion of practice this week and although Matt Rhyle has stated the second-year-pro will start, it is a situation worth keeping an eye on when competitive action gets underway.
The Carolina Panthers suffered another blow in this area on Friday when the team announced second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos was heading to the injured/reserve list after showing signs of promise during their winning run.
This will undoubtedly see an increased role for Marquis Haynes, who has shown flashes of what he is capable of this season. He has provided the Panthers with nice explosiveness off the edge from a rotational role, gaining two sacks, two quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles from 35 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
Haynes would see a significant rise in time on the field if Burns suffered some complications. The former fourth-round pick out of Mississippi has already proven his worth as a situational rusher through five weeks of the campaign. But getting it done on an every-down basis is another matter entirely.
The player has waited a long time for a potential chance such as this. There should still be a part to play for Haynes if the Panthers are at full strength in this area. But his encouraging production in 2020 so far would need to step up another notch in no uncertain terms if he was to start against the Bears at Bank of America Stadium.