6 Panthers players with most to prove after the bye week

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Tre Boston
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Tre Boston /
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(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE

Time is running out for Ian Thomas, who has just a few short weeks left to prove he can become a viable starting tight end with the Carolina Panthers. This has been one of the season’s real disappointments and it remains to be seen whether or not the player will already be past the point of no return.

This is an incredible shame, both for Thomas and the organization.

The former fourth-round pick finally got the chance to secure the No. 1 role after Greg Olsen and the Panthers went their separate ways in free agency. But things just haven’t panned out as expected.

Thomas did fill a starting void well as a rookie when Olsen got hurt. So his lack of production and involvement is strange.

One of the primary reasons behind his lack of targets is the number of mouths to feed on offense in Carolina. And the tight end just seems to be the odd one out.

Whether this is something that will change with relatively little to play for other than respect following the bye week, only time will tell. If it doesn’t, then look for the Panthers to look at alternative options – with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts sure to be high on the shortlist of possibilities.