4 Panthers who could struggle to make the roster after preseason Week 1

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Which Carolina Panthers players could struggle to make the 53-man roster after their preseason Week 1 win at the Washington Commanders? 

The Carolina Panthers picked up a morale-boosting win to open their preseason campaign at the Washington Commanders. They made life difficult for themselves by giving up a 20-6 lead in the second half, but the result wasn’t nearly as important as getting a good look at those further down the depth chart before the final cuts later this month.

Much has been made of the Panthers splitting reps and tinkering with key positional groups such as the offensive line. But with joint practices with the New England Patriots on the immediate horizon, it would be a surprise if things didn’t become a little clearer in the coming days.

There was good and bad in almost equal measure on Saturday afternoon. Something that was expected considering the lack of true gameday activity and the overall standard of those fighting for positions.

With this in mind, here are four Panthers players who might struggle to make the roster after preseason Week 1.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Austin Larkin /

Austin Larkin – Carolina Panthers DE

One thing that allowed Sam Howell and the Washington Commanders to get themselves back into the game was a distinct lack of pressure from the defensive line as the contest progressed. The Carolina Panthers are dangerously thin of legitimate depth across the unit, which could lead to complications if one or two injuries strike during the regular season.

Austin Larkin was given a lot of reps but didn’t make the most of them despite coming up with a couple of nice plays. Couple this with sixth-round selection Amare Barno catching the eye and things don’t look good for the defensive end’s chances.

Making the team was always going to be a long shot for Larkin. But that’s not to say he won’t be brought back onto the practice squad once again.