4 Panthers players that must impose themselves after 2022 bye week

(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Amare Barno /

Amare Barno – Carolina Panthers DE

After playing a season-high 18 percent of defensive snaps in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos, there could be more involvement on the way for Amare Barno. The Carolina Panthers haven’t tasked their 2022 sixth-round selection with much responsibility aside from special teams in Year 1 of his professional career, but it might be worth seeing what he can do with increased reps over the next five games.

Barno was always seen as a development project. Although the athletic attributes were evident during pre-draft evaluations, there is a rawness that needed refinement before any confidence could emerge when clashing with dominant offensive linemen at the next level.

The explosiveness Barno brings to the table is encouraging. And he’s already reached one particular milestone with his first NFL sack in Week 9 at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Finding consistent pass-rushing options opposite Brian Burns has been difficult for the Panthers. Marquis Haynes continues to thrive in a key rotational role, but Yetur Gross-Matos’ inability to create havoc remains a concern and there won’t be a better time to see what Barno can do one way or another.

If Barno does get increased involvement before the 2022 season ends, then he must impose himself with some big changes expected to Carolina’s playing personnel next spring.