5 Panthers players who need to step up vs. the Lions in Week 11

(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers WR

After progressing his level of production considerably in recent weeks, Curtis Samuel was virtually anonymous against the Buccaneers and this is something that needs to change in Week 11. The do-it-all receiver is sure to get more in the way of touches than he received last time out and it’s vital he makes more use of his outstanding skill set.

If Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore are the big play threats down the field, then Samuel might be even more important than the star duo if Teddy Bridgewater is unable to go. Giving Will Grier of P.J. Walker a reliable target over short-to-intermediate routes will be key to building up their confidence and moving the chains in the process, which the former Ohio State sensation has been adept at in critical moments throughout the campaign.

Again, this was probably just a blip. Samuel generated some real momentum before his last outing and the wideout has too much in the way of talent to be on the outside looking in for too long.

It will be interesting to see just how the dynamic on offense changes without Bridgewater or Christian McCaffrey. Fortunately for the Panthers, in Samuel, they have someone who can make a substantial difference both catching the ball and in the backfield when the opportunity arises.

This is a rare thing to have and should ensure Carolina makes Samuel a good offer to stick around once his contract expires this spring.