4 free agents/practice squad players to boost Panthers DL depth

(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports) Bryan Cox Jr.
(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports) Bryan Cox Jr. /
1 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Which free agents of practice squad players should the Carolina Panthers target after losing Kawann Short and Yetur Gross-Matos to injury?

The Carolina Panthers suffered two blows to their defensive line options ahead of their Week 6 game against the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium. This has thrown a spanner in the works for an organization that is riding on the crest of a wave after winning three straight to get themselves back to a winning record.

Veteran defensive tackle Kawann Short has undergone shoulder surgery that will see him miss the remainder of the 2020 season. This is the second consecutive year that the Pro Bowler has left the roster early and there is every likelihood he has played his final game for the Carolina Panthers due to his $20.83 million salary-cap hit in 2021.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Panthers were dealt another considerable loss with the news that second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos is also set for a spell on the reserve/injured list with an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined for at least the next three weeks.

Head coach Matt Rhule has stated that he is happy with their other options going forward. But if they want to mount a more substantial postseason push after a surprising start, then more will undoubtedly be needed.

Carolina’s run defense remains a significant concern and losing Gross-Matos, in particular, has the potential to have a detrimental impact on the team’s ability to generate pressure consistently.

Let’s take a look at four players, who are either free agents or members of a practice squad, that could help bolster the Panthers’ defensive line depth.