4 most important Panthers players vs. the Broncos in Week 14

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Carter /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers QB

While any hopes of the Carolina Panthers achieving a shock playoff spot this season, there is a lot riding on the final quarter of the campaign from Teddy Bridgewater‘s perspective. The quarterback has had plenty of time to dwell on his disappointing return to the Minnesota Vikings and how he responds is going to tell us plenty about what we can expect from him long-term.

Bridgewater is always going to be the scapegoat, which is fine. This is expected from any player at the position but the circumstances surrounding his arrival in Carolina – coupled with the poor handling of Cam Newton’s departure – have made things even more difficult.

It’s not like Bridgewater is a scrub.

But whether he is the man to take the Panthers forward remains to be seen.

There is already plenty of fans clamoring for Carolina to select a potential franchise quarterback such as Zach Wilson in the 2021 NFL Draft. This seems unlikely given Bridgewater’s contract situation and the pressing needs elsewhere. But if the former first-round pick doesn’t do enough over the remaining four games, then the speculation over his future is sure to follow.

Bridgewater has an opportunity to put up some quality number against the Broncos despite the absence of D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey. Denver will be without A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan due to suspension and injury respectively. But now is the time for the divisive figure to start taking some risks.