Which Carolina Panthers players projected to start could find themselves on the bench at some stage during the 2022 season?
With a little over a fortnight to go until the Carolina Panthers head down to Wofford College for training camp, attention is quickly turning to the upcoming season. It’s been a dramatic down-period for the organization, which revolved around another high-profile trade for Baker Mayfield in the hope he can provide the right solution under center in 2022.
This seems like another band-aid solution, which is probably why Panthers owner David Tepper was reluctant to part ways with too much cash during negotiations according to Joe Person of The Athletic. Mayfield has far better production than Sam Darnold throughout their respective careers, but there will be some serious ramifications if another quarterback deal fails to deliver.
Mayfield must do his part. But others also need to make their presence felt during a crucial third season for Matt Rhule with jobs on the line.
With this in mind, here are four projected Panthers starters that could be benched if things go badly during the 2022 season.
Starter No. 1
Matt Ioannidis – Carolina Panthers DT
The Carolina Panthers acted swiftly to bring Matt Ioannidis to the organization following his release by the Washington Commanders. This links the defensive lineman up once again with his former college coach Matt Rhule, but his lack of production over the last two seasons means the jury is still out regarding his chances in 2022.
Ioannidis is expected to line up alongside Derrick Brown on the interior. But things have to go well with the likes of Phil Hoskins and Daviyon Nixon set to make strides after flashing during their rookie seasons.
Hopefully, Ioannidis can return to the form that saw him attain 8.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 16 quarterback hits in 2019. Otherwise, the Panthers might look elsewhere for a better fit.