4 Panthers players who disappointed at the Chiefs in Week 9

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. CAROLINA PANTHERS. SHAQTHOMPSON. OLB. 54. player. 87

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

The loss of stud rookie Jeremy Chinn was sorely felt by the Carolina Panthers. His knee injury didn’t pass a fitness test before the game meaning he was forced to sit on the sidelines and left an already threadbare linebacker corps with fewer expectations on their shoulders than ever,

Yes, Shaq Thompson did get his usual fill of tackles with seven combined and five solos. But this can be a misleading statistic in many ways and his level of influence overall only seems to be waning with every passing week.

His ability, or lack thereof, in coverage is something that represents a real problem. Thompson failed to cope with the significant threat posed by tight end Travis Kelce during the early stages of the contest and this forced the coaching staff to start looking at alternative measures to limit the All-Pro’s influence.

It might seem like we’re being a little too hard on the former first-round pick. But Thompson put additional pressure on himself by declaring his intentions to become the Panthers’ defensive lynchpin following Luke Kuechly’s retirement.

If anything, Kuechly not being there is exposing his flaws, not taking the player’s game to new heights.

Thompson needs to pick things up, and quickly, between now and the end of the campaign. There is a lot riding on it from a financial perspective and if Carolina doesn’t see enough from him down the stretch, it might come with an offseason trade or even his release.