4 Carolina Panthers players who exceeded expectations vs. Lions

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Zach Kerr /

Zach Kerr – Carolina Panthers DT

Not having Kawann Short on the defensive line interior has been missed at times this season. But this was not the case against the Lions thanks in no small part to the performance of Zach Kerr.

The free-agent signing has stepped up in Short’s absence and really caught the eye for the most part. He might have his limitations, but he has been a nice complementary piece on a defense that has made some improvements since the start of the campaign.

Kerr turned in arguably his best performance of the 2020 season on Sunday in the face of Detroit’s suspect interior protection. He dominated the line of scrimmage more often, coming up with three tackles, two quarterback hits, and a sack from 48 percent of the Carolina Panthers’ defensive snaps.

The defensive tackle has yet to miss a tackle this season from 19 attempts and Carolina knows that they have a dependable presence for their rotation next year even if additional reinforcements are brought in as expected.

His level of performance in Week 11 once again exceeded expectations and took his Pro Football Focus grade up to an outstanding 75.6. This is nothing more than Kerr deserves and he has been one of the Panthers’ best signings of the free agency period.