4 Panthers players who need to step up vs. the Falcons in Week 8

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Tre Boston
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Tre Boston /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dennis Daley /

CAROLINA PANTHERS. DENNISDALEY. 1. Pick Analysis. OG. 87. Scouting Report. player

Dennis Daley – Carolina Panthers OG

Dennis Daley made his long-awaited return to the field in Week 7 at the New Orleans Saints. The offensive lineman has endured a frustrating start to the campaign with injury and considering his lack of playing time, he performed well in the face of a formidable defensive front.

There did appear to be some cracks in the protection thanks in no small part to the performance of Chris Reed. But Daley did prove he is more than capable of being a productive starter going forward. This should see the second-year-pro keep his place in the lineup even when John Miller is ready to come back, which the Carolina Panthers will be hoping for on Thursday.

Daley didn’t give up a sack or a penalty from 28 snaps, earning him a creditable 59.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. It was an encouraging start to the season from the player, who suffered his fair share of turmoil as a rookie in Carolina.

Moving Daley onto the interior and out of the firing line on the edge seems to be the best route forward at this juncture. But there is a stiff test of credentials coming up in the form of Atlanta’s stud defensive end Grady Jarrett.

The former Clemson standout has 2.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, and 14 pressures to his name already this season. Carolina has some difficulty keeping the player in check during their first contest and the onus will be on Daley and others to ensure his production is minimized.