4 things for Panthers fans to look forward to after the bye week

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

A healthy Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson was looking to fill the void left by James Bradberry, who departed in free agency for a big-money deal with the New York Giants. The cornerback has done well overall, but a troublesome toe injury has significantly hampered his ability to make the sort of impression he was expecting.

The former LSU standout has missed the last two games as the Carolina Panthers finally decided to take him out of the firing line. Jackson will have rested the problem for almost a month with the bye week coming at a good time for the player, so he should be much healthier against the Broncos.

This will be a significant boost for a unit that has been forced to rely on young players like Troy Pride Jr. and Stantley Thomas-Oliver ahead of time. Both rookies have promise, but it’s clear they still have a lot to learn in terms of being a consistent starter at the next level.

Getting Jackson back and contributing on an every-down basis could be the key behind a possible strong finish for the Panthers. He has three interceptions from just 45 percent of Carolina’s defensive snaps this season, with all of them coming when the second-round pick was firing on all cylinders.