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 /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Dennis Daley /

Dennis Daley – Carolina Panthers OL

It doesn’t appear as if John Miller will be fit enough to take his place on the offensive line in Week 11. The Carolina Panthers have gotten some nice production from their free-agent signing this season and this only heightens the concerns surrounding their team’s ability to keep the Lions’ defensive front from getting in the backfield consistently.

Detroit hasn’t had much in the way of pass-rushing prowess outside of Romeo Okwara this season, which is a blessing in disguise for Carolina’s injury-hit roster. Dennis Daley will likely step in and start on their interior in Miller’s absence and this is a huge opportunity for the second-year-pro to prove his worth.

There was plenty of hope that Daley could make a real difference this season. He was slotted to start at left guard before injury kept him out of the first few games and the coaching staff hasn’t had the confidence to give a prolonged run of games since.

Daley has featured in just 17 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season (107). Compare that to the 62% he turned out in during the previous campaign and it’s not hard to be a little concerned about his long-term aspirations with the franchise.

An eye-catching performance from Daley is crucial against the Lions. If he can do this, then it is sure to come with more involvement both at the Minnesota Vikings and following Carolina’s bye week that’s been a long time coming.