4 bold Carolina Panthers predictions following the bye week

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Joe Brady
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Joe Brady /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel will lead the team in receiving

There appears to be some doubt about the status of D.J. Moore following the bye week. The wide receiver went down with an ankle injury late in their defeat at the Vikings and the Carolina Panthers will be extra-cautious with their No. 1 wideout with relatively little to play for other than pride.

If Moore is unable to go, then it represents a real opportunity for Curtis Samuel. The former Ohio State sensation has grown in stature this season and a strong end to the campaign could see some big money coming his way next spring.

Samuel took his time to find the right sort of role in Joe Brady’s high-octane scheme. But he’s come of age as the season’s gone on and has become Teddy Bridgewater‘s favorite target on third down in the process.

Players with his sort of skillset are normally a hot commodity on the free-agent market. The Panthers will probably do all they can to keep him around and Samuel also has the option of deciding to take his chances elsewhere if he’s offered a more prominent role.

Much will depend on Moore’s availability. But Samuel has a real chance to emerge as Carolina’s leading receiver following the bye week if given the chance.