3 winners and 3 losers from Carolina Panthers final preseason game

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Brandon Zylstra /

Brandon Zylstra – Carolina Panthers WR

Wide receiver Brandon Zylstra has never been expected to be an impact player on the Carolina Panthers. He is considered more of a special teams asset and fill-in receiver when needed.

But against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, Zylstra might have run himself off the team if he wasn’t already on the bubble of making the 53-man roster.

With Carolina adding many wide receivers this offseason, Zylstra’s chance to make the roster relied on how good of a special teams player he could be. With back-to-back dropped passes in the preseason finale, don’t be surprised if the Panthers have seen enough of the former CFL star after two seasons.

In a game in which Carolina completely dominated, there weren’t many poor plays to report. But Zylstra’s struggles certainly couldn’t go unnoticed in the third quarter.

The one solace that might come Zylstra’s way is the situation involving Shi Smith. The rookie wideout went off in the second half with a shoulder injury that Matt Rhule stated was “significant” when speaking to reporters after the game.

If Smith is forced to miss an extended period of time, then it might see a reprieve for Zylstra in pursuit of a roster position.