How crucial is Terrace Marshall Jr.’s health to the Panthers in 2022?

(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /

How crucial is wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr.’s health to the Carolina Panthers and their chances of progression in 2022? 

Terrace Marshall Jr. has been battling injuries ever since his days at LSU and has once again been riddled with problems since joining the Carolina Panthers. From concussions to hamstring complications, it’s been incredibly frustrating for everyone involved.

Marshall is a big-bodied wide receiver standing 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. He was selected at No. 59 overall by the Panthers in the 2021 NFL Draft and immediately tasked with complementing Robbie Anderson and D.J Moore as the team’s No. 3 option.

Even when Marshall was on the field last year his performance was lackluster. For a player with his undisputed skill set, accumulating 17 receptions and 138 receiving yards will not cut it.

The combination of Ben McAdoo and Matt Rhule needs that WR3. Moore is the focal point and Anderson is the speed demon, but Marshall also needs to step up his contribution with patience rapidly running out.

Marshall has the potential to become the contested catch reliever this offense needs to be successful. With modern NFL defenses changing into more dime and nickel packages with safety/linebacker hybrids that match up with the weapons on offense, having a reliable third weapon that can make big time catches and provide security for Baker Mayfield on third down is critical.

Carolina Panthers must keep Terrace Marshall Jr. healthy in 2022

Staying healthy is the biggest problem based on his first season and the current preparation period ahead of the 2022 campaign. Having Marshall and Christian McCaffrey present consistently makes it even harder to gameplan for, but whether this transpires or not is another matter.

In his absence, the upcoming and bright spot from camp is Shi Smith, who is continuing to impress the coaching staff and making big plays to surge his way up the depth chart. Another that could assist is Rashard Higgins, who also had a nice camp and already possesses great chemistry with Mayfield from their time together on the Cleveland Browns.

Marshall needs to see the field more to adjust to this new offense. McAdoo’s scheme is notoriously difficult to master, so the wideout can ill afford to miss any more time in pursuit of making a bigger splash next time around.

With a fully-fit Marshall lending his support, Carolina’s offense could be among the top 12-15 league-wide. Thankfully, he returned to practice on Wednesday afternoon, which will hopefully be the end of a turbulent spell for the player.

One positive for Marshall is that he has every athletic attribute imaginable. But as the old saying goes, the best ability is availability.

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