4 Carolina Panthers players who need to return from injury ASAP

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore /

Stephon Gilmore – Carolina Panthers CB

This was the week Stephon Gilmore got a first taste of practice since his trade to the Carolina Panthers. The All-Pro cornerback was acquired for a 2023 sixth-round pick, which could be a shrewd bit of business by the front office if his torn quad has healed in a satisfactory fashion.

The early signs are positive regarding Gilmore’s status. Although we won’t know for sure until he gets onto the gridiron after so much inactivity.

Gilmore has the potential to bring a completely different dimension to the Panthers. There aren’t many players at the position with a bigger reputation despite a down year for the New England Patriots in 2020, so this homecoming could be a mutually beneficial arrangement if everything clicks into place.

Carolina lost a stud man cover corner in Jaycee Horn, who might be back before the end of the campaign. Gilmore has the potential to fill this void and then some.

Not only will his presence on the roster help on the field, but having a proven veteran for advice and guidance will only help young players such as Horn, Keith Taylor Jr. and C.J. Henderson will do wonders for their development.

This has the scope to give everyone a huge lift just when the Panthers need it most. But it might be a few weeks yet before we see Gilmore at the peak of his powers.