Cory Littleton – Carolina Panthers LB
It hasn’t been all bad where the Carolina Panthers are concerned this season. Special teams have come on leaps and bounds under Chris Tabor and the defense has also impressed despite nothing going right on the offensive side of things.
Carolina’s defense has noticeably tired thanks to an inept scheme on offense that seems incapable of moving the chains consistently. This might change with Steve Wilks at the helm, but the Panthers are down to their No. 4 quarterback after Baker Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Not ideal, but this is a good time to blend in some young guns in the hope they can take advantage of their respective opportunities. Someone like Brandon Smith falls into this category, which could see Cory Littleton fall out of favor after an indifferent start to the campaign.
Littleton’s been a rotational piece more often than not, which was expected. Frankie Luvu’s emergence into a dynamic playmaker is extraordinary, but his absence last weekend gave the former Pro Bowler a chance to establish himself.
Things didn’t go well for Littleton when on the field as the Niners ran all over Carolina en route to a convincing victory. This could be the excuse needed to install Smith into the rotation, which would be a popular decision given how the Penn State product shone during preseason games.