4 former Carolina Panthers to root for in the 2020 NFL Playoffs

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Mario Addison
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Mario Addison /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera /

Former Carolina Panthers that fans can root for during the 2020 NFL Playoffs.

The Carolina Panthers might not be participating in the playoffs this year. But there are plenty of former figures associated with the organization that will be worth keeping a close eye on in the coming weeks.

Plenty of established players and coaches left the Carolina Panthers during the 2020 offseason, which was to be expected in year one of a pretty substantial rebuild under new head coach Matt Rhule. The former Baylor man seems to be the right man for the job given the way he’s adjusted under difficult circumstances. But it’s hard to look at their current roster and come to any other conclusion than more is going to be needed to get the team into postseason contention.

It was a rollercoaster campaign for Carolina’s loyal fanbase. But they can now relax and enjoy playoff football without a dog in the fight. There are some fantastic ties in the first round this year, with only one team from each conference receiving a bye in the new format.

Let’s examine which former Panthers that supporters can root for this weekend and possibly beyond.

Former Panther No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /

Ron Rivera – HC

As expected, someone with the coaching resume of Ron Rivera wasn’t out of work long when he was fired by the Carolina Panthers late in the 2019 season. The well-respected figure assumed command of the Washington Football Team and has done an incredible job in the most difficult of circumstances.

Despite getting cancer treatment throughout the campaign, Rivera managed to book an unlikely playoff berth for Washington by winning the NFC East crown with a 7-9 record and they will now host the fancied Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend.

This is an adversary that is familiar to Rivera from his time in Carolina. But they go into the contest as eight-point underdogs against a formidable Tampa Bay outfit who beat the Panthers twice during the regular season.