4 Panthers players who’ve impressed after early struggles in 2022

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Ikem Ekwonu
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Ikem Ekwonu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Cory Littleton /

Cory Littleton – Carolina Panthers LB

Finding the right formula at the defensive second level has been difficult for the Carolina Panthers. The organization was spoilt with the likes of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly providing expert leadership and production in recent years, so it was always going to be a period of transition once these two legendary figures departed the franchise.

It’s taken some time, but the Panthers are slowly coming together. Frankie Luvu’s exceptional emergence is helping, Shaq Thompson remains consistent, and Cory Littleton‘s arrival in free agency is something else that’s assisted on a rotational basis.

Littleton is a former Pro Bowler that lost his way with the Las Vegas Raiders. But he’s been a key part of the defensive rotation and his 71.1 grade from Pro Football Focus is another indicator of how well he’s performing after a rough start.

Whether this is enough for the Panthers to offer Littleton an extended stay beyond the current campaign is unclear. A new head coach comes with a fresh set of ideas, so Steve Wilks staying on at the helm will do his chances of a new contract the world of good.

Not many expected miracles from Littleton, in all honesty. But he’s done all the simple things well and can look back on his efforts this season with a great deal of pride.

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