5 big observations from practice Day 12 at Panthers training camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton and Trenton Scott
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton and Trenton Scott /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith and D.J. Moore /

Carolina Panthers have options in the return game

One feature that was reportedly prominent during the early part of practice was the emphasis on the return game. This was an area of the field where the Carolina Panthers didn’t get much production from Pharoh Cooper in 2020, so there might be more to come judging by their current options next season.

A ton of talent has been returning punts throughout training camp. Carolina is even utilizing prominent roster members such as D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey in this region, although it appears unlikely either will be given this responsibility during the regular season given its violent nature at times.

Rookie wideout Shi Smith and undrafted free-agent C.J. Saunders have also been shouldering some responsibility. This will be great from an experience point of view, but the Panthers are probably just looking at every possible option before going with a more definite plan of action.

Perhaps the most realistic options are Trenton Cannon and David Moore. Two that certainly boast more experience than the two rookies looking to find their way and are less important than the two established stars to the team’s fortunes.

Only time will tell, obviously. So it’s nice to have some upcoming preseason games to get a better indication of which way Carolina is going to go.