4 Carolina Panthers players who clung to their roster spot in 2022

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Stephen Sullivan /

Stephen Sullivan – Carolina Panthers TE

After being a practice squad mainstay last season, Stephen Sullivan managed to go one better and make the Carolina Panthers roster in 2022. The tight end has all the right physical attributes to contribute in some way, but a concerning fumble in the preseason meant that his future was hanging in the balance when the time came for final cuts.

Sullivan ended up coming through onto the roster, where he is expected to back up the projected starting tight end duo of Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble. Whether this is enough for improved production remains to be seen, but the bar is pretty low after non-existent numbers in the immediate aftermath of Greg Olsen’s departure.

There is a lot to like about Sullivan from a physical standpoint. His athleticism is right where it needs to be, so this could be the opportunity he’s been looking for after going undrafted out of LSU in 2020.

What comes next for Sullivan is unclear. Much will depend on how Tremble and Thomas perform over the first few games, but if they can’t demonstrate growth under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, he might make changes to their target allocation.

Sullivan has growth potential. Seizing the moment is of critical importance for a player that’s been on the fringes for some time.