3 potential problems facing the Carolina Panthers vs. Broncos

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /

Key men missing

Most of the Carolina Panthers players who were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after an unsanctioned group gathering on their bye week are thankfully good to go. But head coach Matt Rhule is still missing some key men that would have played a leading role in Week 14.

D.J. Moore is going to be a big miss on the outside against a Broncos cornerback unit who are missing the stud duo of Bryce Callahan and A.J. Bouye through injury and suspension. Carolina does still have Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel to lean on heavily in the former first-round pick’s absence and they’ll need to produce the goods when it matters most with more targets coming their way.

Another big blow to the Panthers is not having Christian McCaffrey in the backfield. The All-Pro running back has been absolutely luckless with injuries this season and a quad injury suffered during a personal workout has further added to his frustrations.

Mike Davis has performed admirably in a starting role. But having McCaffrey back would have been a huge lift to everyone associated with the organization.

One potential absentee that shouldn’t be overlooked is Zach Kerr. The defensive tackle has been a revelation in 2020 after filling in for the injured Kawann Short and his unavailability could also impact No. 7 overall selection Derrick Brown in the process.

Carolina isn’t blessed with quality depth on their roster. So it’ll just be a case of hoping others can step up and make their presence felt.