3 Panthers position groups that must step up vs. the Vikings in Week 6

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Blackburn /

Carolina Panthers ST

Multiple kickers. Blocked punts. Missed assignments. Poor coverage. Points left on the board. The special teams unit has been laughable this season with fans wondering just how this poorly performing unit can improve moving forward.

We have seen more mental mistakes, coverage and blocking breakdowns, and roster movement through five weeks than should happen in a full season.

For better or worse, many fans – and even some analysts – tend to focus on the offensive and defensive units. Yes, they are generally flashier, but special teams are about field control, adding points, and generally staying off the highlight reel.

Special teams coach Chase Blackburn need to come up with a plan that enables the unit to put together a game without any breakdowns, missed field goals, or blocked punts.

The Carolina Panthers are down a man with punter Joseph Charlton on the reserve/injured list for a minimum of three weeks following some back issues. So before the ink is even dry on his contract, Ryan Winslow could be suiting up Sunday in his place.

There is a chance the Panthers use Zan Gonzalez in a dual capacity as a kicker and punter. Although that’s a big risk considering he doesn’t have the biggest leg in the world.