4 key storylines to watch during Carolina Panthers vs. the Saints in Week 2

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) John Miller /

Can John Miller make a big difference for Carolina Panthers OL?

Not having John Miller occupying the right guard position hurt the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. The veteran’s absence after contracting COVID-19 meant Dennis Daley was thrust into a spot he wasn’t too comfortable in, which resulted in the interior giving up some considerable pressure throughout the contest.

Thankfully for the player and the Panthers, Miller is back and has already been named the starter by head coach Matt Rhule. His partnership alongside stud right tackle Taylor Moton wasn’t the worst in the world in 2020 and there remains some hope this can become an area of real continuity this time around.

Just how much Miller plays will be worth keeping an eye on. The player himself declared that he’s still feeling the after-effects of the virus, which might mean he’s unable to assume the workload Carolina normally gives the former Cincinnati Bengal.

Rhule stated that if Miller is forced to the sidelines due to conditioning at any stage, he’s more than happy with putting Daley back into the lineup if needed.

"“I’m really comfortable with Dennis. We feel like he should be starting. He has a skillset of a starter, he’s just had some bumps along the way but now he has his opportunity. When Johnny [Miller] went down against Baltimore, we had Dennis play the whole first half of that game. I think he’s got tremendous power, he’s got quickness, has length, he should play pretty well.”"

Only time will tell as to how this situation plays out. But it’s worth monitoring and one expects the New Orleans Saints to test Miller early and often after so long away from the gridiron.