5 Panthers players who cannot start 2022 season on a sour note

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Wilson
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Wilson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via IMAGN Content Services) Damien Wilson /

player. 87. . LB. Carolina Panthers. DAMIEN WILSON. 3

Damien Wilson – Carolina Panthers LB

There is a chance that Damien Wilson might not even be with the Carolina Panthers by the time their Week 1 clash against the Cleveland Browns comes around. The linebacker was arrested in April and the organization is still waiting to see what comes from the incident, which will have significant ramifications for the player and the franchise whichever way it goes.

Carolina is banking on Wilson finally filling the void left by Luke Kuechly, which has been a thankless task and poisoned chalice since the perennial All-Pro retired after eight glittering seasons.

After Tahir Whitehead and Jermaine Carter failed to provide any long-term confidence, signing Wilson in free agency was seen as another positive move that could bring an immediate turnaround in fortunes at the second level.

Wilson does struggle in coverage on occasions. But he is a commanding force against the run, can generate pressure when needed, and also has a Super Bowl title to his name from the player’s time with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The former Minnesota standout racked up 106 tackles and three sacks for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. But getting off to a fast start is going to be essential to avoid lingering doubts.