4 injured Panthers players who could bounce back in 2021

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Omar Bayless /

Omar Bayless – Carolina Panthers WR

One of the players who made the biggest impression at training camp was Omar Bayless. The undrafted wide receiver drew widespread praise from coaching staff and teammates alike, which led many to believe he could be a dark-horse contributor during his rookie campaign.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Bayless suffered a knee injury that forced him onto the reserve/injured list before the Carolina Panthers made their final roster cuts. It says a lot about what the coaching staff thought of his production in practice that they kept him around when moving him on may have been easier. So providing he fully recovers from the problem in time for the 2021 campaign, there should be an opportunity to earn a spot on the rotation.

The former Arkansas State standout didn’t manage to hear his name called despite a 2019 campaign that brought 93 receptions, 1,653 receiving yards, and 167 touchdowns. With Pharoh Cooper, Curtis Samuel, and Brandon Zylstra out of contract this spring, Bayles will never get a better chance to prove himself at the next level and it’s clear that the Panthers want to give him this opportunity.

What comes next will be ultimately down to Bayless. Additional reinforcements will be brought in if the free-agent trio departs, but being around the team this season would have been a fantastic experience that can stand him in good stead.