4 Panthers players who need to step up vs. Broncos in Week 14

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Sunday, Dec 13. 87. Panthers -3.5. 1 PM ET. 4-8. 4-8. 45. CBS

Which Carolina Panthers players need to step up vs. Broncos?

It promises to be another intriguing game for the Carolina Panthers as they go in search of their fifth win of the season against the Denver Broncos in Week 15. If head coach Matt Rhule was hoping for his roster to come back refreshed and raring to go following their bye, the former Baylor man was dealt some bad news almost immediately after they returned to a team setting.

A reported social gathering between players forced the Carolina Panthers to place eight of them on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This is likely to keep some out of their next encounter. But the league will not take kindly to a complete lack of common sense in the current climate and fine the organization accordingly.

This is the last thing that Carolina needed as they look to put right their complete capitulation at the Minnesota Vikings before a well-deserved few days away from football. If the Panthers cannot achieve success this Sunday, then there is a real chance they finish the campaign with a 4-12 record given the upcoming opposition before the campaign concludes.

Here are four Panthers players who need to step up at Bank of America Stadium this weekend.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – Carolina Panthers TE

Ian Thomas might finally see more targets coming his way against the Broncos. Carolina could be without two primary playmakers in D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, with Christian McCaffrey’s status also up in the air with a quad injury.

The tight end has to take this opportunity if it comes his way. There was real hope that Thomas could become the long-term solution at the position after the Panthers decided to part ways with accomplished veteran Greg Olsen in free agency. But his bizarre lack of involvement has been one of the real disappointments of the 2020 season.

Denver might have some talented playmakers on defense. However, one only has to look at how effective tight ends have been against them so far to see this is a potential area that can be exploited providing Thomas raises his game accordingly.