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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Juston Burris /

Juston Burris – Carolina Panthers S

Although he was considered a potential weak link heading into the season, the Carolina Panthers are missing the presence of Juston Burris considerably. The safety provided a commanding presence alongside Jeremy Chinn on the backend and things haven’t exactly gone according to plan since he was forced to the reserve/injured list.

Sean Chandler and Sam Franklin are serviceable backups. But both have struggled on occasions in Burris’ absence and the sooner he’s able to return, the better Carolina’s chances will be.

A timeline for Burris’ return hasn’t been quite determined. This is the second time in as many seasons that the player has suffered a setback when things were going well, so the former North Carolina State star needs to return to his early season production rather than regress in a manner we witnessed in 2020.

What comes next once Burris returns could determine his future with the franchise. He is out of contract next spring and the jury is still out as to whether or not he’ll be offered an extension.

The best ability is availability, as the old saying goes.

If Burris can continue trendng on an upward curve when he returns to the lineup, it could see the veteran earn an extended stay in Carolina. And the Panthers aren’t quite the same in the secondary without him.

A strange thing to say considering how low expectations were for Burris before the campaign.