4 Saints players the Panthers should worry about in Week 7
By Dean Jones
Jared Cook – TE
Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders missing this week mean the Saints will be without their best-receiving options, which could impact their ability to move the chains efficiently.
Their matchup against the Carolina Panthers represents an outstanding opportunity for Jared Cook to do some real damage. The tight end has shown flashes of brilliance this season and he has the potential to put up some substantial numbers if the likes of Tahir Whitehead and Shaq Thompson do not raise their level of production.
Cook is a nightmare to cover at the top of his game. He is a big, athletic body who has learned to use his frame in a positive way to catch the football under pressure.
The former South Carolina standout has collected 11 of 16 receptions for 166 receiving yards and two touchdowns this season. This is down in no small part to the number of mouths Drew Brees has to feed on offense. But head coach Sean Payton is no fool and will know that Cook can be more of an influence given the Panthers’ deficiencies at the second level.
There is a chance Corn Elder sees plenty of Cook in coverage. The cornerback has played well in the slot this season but will have to overcome some physical differences to get the better of this matchup when the opportunity presents itself.