5 individual battles to watch during Panthers scrimmages at Colts

(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

What are some individual battles to keep an eye on when the Carolina Panthers scrimmage with the Indianapolis Colts this week?

We are rapidly approaching the business end of the preparation period. The Carolina Panthers are now in Week 3 of training camp and are about to embark on their first scrimmages at the Indianapolis Colts before taking them on in a preseason game on Sunday.

Matt Rhule will know more about his squad this time next week. Handling the pressure of going up against unfamiliar players fighting for jobs elsewhere is a stern test of resolve and who shines through could boost their chances of earning roster spots or prominent positions on the rotation in 2021.

The Colts are quietly fancied to make a postseason run this season. Although injuries to Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson won’t do their immediate chances any good until they both make a return to the lineup.

Without further ado, here are five battles to keep a close eye on when the Panthers and Colts go at it over two days this week.

Carolina Panthers battles to watch during Colts scrimmages

Battle No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown vs. Jonathan Taylor

Not seeing Derrick Brown up against All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson is a blow and something that would have been a superb measuring stick for how far the second-year-pro has brought his game on this offseason.

However, if the Carolina Panthers want to witness first-hand the Auburn product’s progression in run support, they’ll be watching how he copes with promising running back Jonathan Taylor during scrimmages.

Taylor gained 1,169 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns during his first season. So there is plenty to suggest he might become one of the best backs in the business with further improvements.