6 key observations from Panthers 2022 training camp practice Day 9

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brady Christensen /

Carolina Panthers OL starting to take shape

After some chopping and changing across the offensive line, the Carolina Panthers finally installed what many believe will be their starting combination in Week 1. Matt Rhule’s stated that every player must earn their spot in the starting lineup, but the sooner continuity comes in this crucial area of the field, the better.

This all centered on Ikem Ekwonu getting reps at left tackle, with Brady Christensen occupying the left guard spot. Both players have spent time on the blindside throughout camp, but the Panthers did not draft the North Carolina State product at No. 6 overall for him to become anything more than their franchise edge protector long-term.

Another encouraging sign was Bradley Bozeman getting first-team reps at the center position instead of Pat Elflein, who has enough bad production to suggest some significant complications could emerge if he gets the No. 1 job again. Rhule stated that they will continue sharing out starting reps, which is a big-time gamble with so many new faces needing to gel.

Again, this method has a certain college feel to it. Having competition for places is all well and good, but there are just four practices of camp remaining and the time for finalizing plans on the offensive line is now well upon the Panthers.

Any further hesitation might come with grave consequences when the real action arrives.