5 Carolina Panthers firmly on the hot seat entering 2022 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey does not find himself on this list due to poor form or a lack of talent. The running back’s production remains elite and he is the league’s best dual-threat player without question, but lingering injury problems have blighted his last two years in the league and this has to change for the Carolina Panthers to stand any chance of progression in 2022.

McCaffrey has turned out 10 times in two seasons. More importantly, the Panthers went to absolute pieces without their best offensive player.

The strategy has changed regarding McCaffrey’s training regime this offseason. This stemmed from a period of self-reflection from the former first-round pick following a frank discussion with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk on how best to stay healthy.

There’s no doubt McCaffrey has looked the part once again this summer. Carolina rightfully kept him out of the firing line during their three preseason games, but the explosiveness and elite route-running caught the eye throughout camp and in joint practices with the New England Patriots.

If McCaffrey cannot stay on the field for a consistent period in 2022, the Panthers have a real problem on their hands. One that could see the Stanford product traded for compensation that doesn’t befit his immense credentials.