3 reasons CB Stephon Gilmore can ignite the Carolina Panthers

(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore /

Stephon Gilmore is practicing for the Carolina Panthers, and here’s how the experienced cornerback can lift the organization.

It’s the moment Carolina Panthers fans had been waiting for.

Stephon Gilmore was on the field for his first official day of practice following his trade from the New England Patriots. The All-Pro cornerback is off the physically unable to perform list after successfully coming through rehabilitation for a torn quad, which is another big step to seeing the player out on the field for a regular-season contest.

This was a major coup by the Panthers, who moved quickly to strike a deal with Bill Belichick after the Patriots announced they’d be releasing the four-time Pro Bowler. And his return couldn’t come at a better time.

All the expectations surrounding the Panthers after a 3-0 start have evaporated following a three-game losing streak and two poor performances against the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.

Another loss at the struggling New York Giants in Week 7 would come with some serious questions about the direction this team is heading under Matt Rhule. So seeing Gilmore practicing was a nice distraction for Carolina’s coaching staff ahead of a critical week of preparation.

It might take some time for Gilmore to get back to the form of old. But make no mistake, he’s going to be a tremendous asset for the Panthers to call upon.

With this in mind, here are three reasons why Gilmore’s return can ignite the Panthers.