6 Panthers players who need to hit the ground running at 2021 camp

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Miller /

Which Carolina Panthers players need to hit the ground running when training camp gets underway at Wofford College later this month?

Training camp is a hugely exciting time of year for fans.

If they took their participation throughout a pivotal few weeks for granted, they won’t anymore after COVID-19 restrictions prevented fanbases across the country from seeing their favorite players on the field before competitive action got underway last summer.

The Carolina Panthers return to Wofford College in Spartanburg later this month. Always an incredible occasion despite the stifling heat that often surrounds it.

How the Panthers fare in the coming weeks will go a long way to determining their fate in 2021. The talent throughout the roster seems to be far better than at this stage last year, but putting it all together when it matters most is step No. 2 for head coach Matt Rhule after some encouraging signs in Year 1 of his tenure.

Players will be fighting for depth chart position and in some cases, their NFL futures. Here are six Panthers roster members who need to hit the ground running when camp gets underway.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

Joey Slye – Carolina Panthers K

The Panthers haven’t brought in any camp competition for kicker Joey Slye as yet. But that’s not to say they won’t go down this direction if the third-year-pro gets off to a slow start.

Slye got a one-year extension this offseason despite going through some struggles in 2020. He missed some long-range kicks with the game on the line and was sometimes erratic from shorter distances.

This has left many questioning whether Slye can become the team’s long-term option at the position. Carolina took a look at Zane Gonzalez during mandatory minicamp without a contract coming his way, so their current option should approach training camp with a sense of real urgency.