5 Panthers players who need to step up after COVID-19 concerns

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Bravvion Roy
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Bravvion Roy /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Bravvion Roy /

Bravvion Roy – Carolina Panthers DT

Bravvion Roy could go from a sixth-round pick to the No. 1 option on the Carolina Panthers if the defensive tackle tandem of Derrick Brown and Zach Kerr is not removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time to take their place in the lineup.

This is something that might come with some extra production from the player, who has been one of the real surprises of 2020 after head coach Matt Rhule brought him to Carolina from Baylor. Roy has made some nice plays early in games and although his conditioning could use some improvement, he already looks to be a draft steal at this juncture.

Carolina’s coaching staff will find out a lot more about Roy if he assumes the primary interior role in Week 14. The rookie has one sack, five quarterback hits, 17 tackles, one tackle for loss, and six pressures from 33 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, which represents solid production from a player who was considered a development project during his initial transition to the NFL.

The Panthers can ill-afford to be without their two starting defensive tackles, especially with veteran Pro Bowler Kawann Short also unavailable. However, they’ll have no choice other than to lean on Roy and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on with more responsibility on his shoulders.