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4 major problems the Carolina Panthers need to fix at the bye week

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Tight end involvement

The Carolina Panthers have nothing to lose at this point. Even if they win out over the next four games it will only get them to an 8-8 record, so finding out more about some players who haven’t been that involved might be more beneficial than picking up meaningful victories down the stretch.

One way they could undoubtedly do this is by using their tight ends more prominently in the passing game. This was a key component of offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s success during LSU’s historic 2019 campaign, so he definitely has the plays that could make the most out of Ian Thomas and his outstanding skill set.

Whether the former fourth-round pick is past the point of no return is up for debate. Thomas has been targeted just 20 times this season and has yet to break the 100-yard receiving barrier, which is an immense disappointment in his pursuit of filling the void left by Greg Olsen long-term.

If Thomas fails to produce with more opportunities, so what?

At least the Panthers gave him a chance before going in a different direction.

There would be less pressure on Chris Manhertz‘s shoulders, who is seen as more of a blocking tight end. But not having a prolific pass-catcher across the middle from the tight end spot in 2020 has been one of the more eye-catching disappointments, especially when one considers how reliable Olsen was in this regard.