5 Panthers position battles still undecided ahead of Steelers game

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos /

Carolina Panthers DE3

Brian Burns and Morgan Fox will form the starting defensive end tandem in Week 1 barring an injury to either player before then. The Carolina Panthers also have the intriguing option of moving Haason Reddick to the front despite it looking like he’ll be an outside linebacker for the most part.

There are also plenty of options available for the DE3 position for the Panthers. One of the more important rotational pieces on any roster.

Yetur Gross-Matos is the obvious frontrunner after showing flashes of quality as a rookie. Carolina could get even more production from the Penn State product providing he stays free of injury, with the option of the 2020 second-round pick being utilized on the edge and as a three-technique on the interior something the coaching staff should consider.

Another who probably deserves consideration is Marquis Haynes. An ultra-reliable rotational piece that made his presence felt during the first preseason game before suffering an arm problem that put him in a sling.

The Panthers are also taking a long hard look at Christian Miller this offseason. He opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 health concerns, but the former Alabama man seems to have reintegrated himself well on the field and within the locker room.

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It appears as if the DE3 spot is Gross-Matos’ to lose. There is even a chance the second-year-pro can surpass Fox on the depth chart during the season if everything goes off without a hitch.