4 Panthers players who have regressed in 2020 after promising starts

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Joey Slye – Carolina Panthers K

The Carolina Panthers made a bold move to release veteran kicker Graham Gano after overcoming his injury struggles. They clearly saw enough in Joey Slye to convince them he was the man to lead them moving forward and early in the season it did appear the decision-makers made the right call.

However, now it appears that Slye’s job is hanging by a thread after a downturn in fortunes over the second half of the campaign.

Kickers do tend to become the scapegoat when things aren’t going the team’s way.

Slye has missed a number of game-winning attempts to further highlight his struggles of late and if things don’t improve – and quickly – it will force the Panthers’ hand regarding finding a more competent replacement.

While some would argue he shouldn’t have had to win these games following late collapses, it doesn’t;t make his misses any less significant.

The writing might already be on the wall for Slye. But he received a reprieve of sorts after Lirim Hajrullahu was unable to join the practice squad due to complications surrounding his visa.

This is an opportunity Slye cannot let slip. The second-year-pro has three more games to provide the sort of consistency needed to prove his worth as a viable starter long-term. But his 78.8 percent field goal success rate in 2020 has to improve down the stretch.