5 Carolina Panthers backups who’ll push for serious playing time in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver III /

Which Carolina Panthers backups could push for some serious playing time during the 2021 season?

The Carolina Panthers appear to have far more in the way of depth within most positional groups than at any stage in 2020. Scott Fitterer and Matt Rhule were extremely aggressive in their pursuit of making vast improvements to the roster this offseason, which might even see more new faces come into the fold as the campaign goes on if performances aren’t good enough right out of the gate.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who the most important Panthers players are this season. However, with a new 17-game schedule to tackle and the injury bug inevitably coming into play at some stage, those down the pecking order need to come in and make their presence felt to ensure momentum isn’t lost.

Things should get better for Carolina this season, providing they take advantage of some of the first few games and build confidence. Whether they can do this or not is the million-dollar question.

Without further ado, here are five Panthers backups who’ll push for some serious time on the field this season.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /

Frankie Luvu – Carolina Panthers OLB

The Panthers took a flier on Frankie Luvu in free agency following his early stint with the New York Jets. It’s safe to say they’re getting much more than the team initially bargained for.

His gradual rise throughout training camp was especially pleasing. Perhaps more importantly, Luvu has been making a real difference in between the white lines during the three preseason games to further enhance his overall influence.

Carolina’s depth throughout the second level is still concerning. But the emergence of Luvu means they have a reliable outside presence in the event Shaq Thompson or Haason Reddick are forced to miss time at any stage.

If Luvu continues to impress, then he’ll become an even greater influence on the rotation regardless of whether someone is hurt or not.