5 pleasant surprises from Carolina Panthers training camp so far

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ishmael Hyman
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ishmael Hyman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Will Grier /

Will Grier – Carolina Panthers QB

The chances of Will Grier earning meaningful reps as a starter appear slim with Sam Darnold at the team’s No. 1 option. But he’s made a good start to training camp in pursuit of being the prominent backup in 2021.

Grier and P.J. Walker have been splitting snaps with the second unit throughout the opening portion of camp. There has been the odd bad throw here and there and he needs to be more decisive, but overall the Carolina Panthers must be impressed by what they’ve seen from the former third-round pick so far.

Head coach Matt Rhule is keen to see Grier and Walker both on the field in preseason games. This is the first time the West Virginia product has seen any action since his rookie campaign in 2019 and it’s absolutely essential he impresses to avoid being given up on entirely.

Carolina is toying with the idea of bringing just two quarterbacks through onto the roster. COVID-19 complications might not be as severe this time around and going in this direction would allow them to strengthen other positional groups.

This only raises the stakes for Grier. Especially considering he was inactive more often than not in 2020 as the coaching staff went with Walker as the primary backup to Teddy Bridgewater.

The bar was low for Grier, granted. But he’s performed above expectations to date.