4 Panthers players with the most to lose after the bye week

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

  • No. 1 spot on the depth chart

Donte Jackson should hopefully make a return to the lineup after getting a substantial period of rest to recover from a toe problem that’s bothered him all season. The cornerback missed the two games prior to the bye week, meaning it will be nearly a month on the sidelines that few didn’t think was necessary.

The Carolina Panthers were wise to take Jackson out of the firing line. It wasn’t doing him or the team any favors at all being out on the field at less than 100 percent and although the former second-round pick deserves credit for trying to assist, not performing at the expected level could complicate his role on the depth chart moving forward.

Jackson is Carolina’s No. 1 corner option at the moment. But how he applies himself down the stretch will tell us plenty about whether this is a role he’s going to fill in 2021.

One only has to look at the way James Bradberry is performing with the New York Giants to see that the Panthers should’ve done more to keep him around. So if Jackson doesn’t step up then it will undoubtedly result in the decision-makers looking at possible alternatives.

That doesn’t mean Jackson’s place on the roster is under threat, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, his pursuit of being a prominent No. 1 option might be under threat more than he thinks despite injury impacting his ability to produce the goods when it matters most.