3 Carolina Panthers players who must seize the moment in Preseason Week 2

Opportunity knocks for these Carolina Panthers players at the New York Giants.
Chandler Zavala
Chandler Zavala / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Chandler Zavala - Carolina Panthers OL

Chandler Zavala has been a hard evaluation since joining the Carolina Panthers as a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This has nothing to do with talent, but he's missed a considerable portion of practices through injury over the last few weeks.

This means it's difficult to gauge what the Panthers have in the former North Carolina State standout currently. But make no mistake, head coach Frank Reich and his staff want to find out more before coming to their final conclusion about who should be the team's starting right guard until Austin Corbett returns from injury.

Cade Mays really struggled against the New York Jets. While disappointing for the second-year-pro, it opens the door for others. If Zavala comes through practices unscathed this week, he's likely going to feature heavily over those who've already proven they cannot be trusted such as Cam Erving and Michael Jordan.

This is a journey into the unknown for Zavala, who has no legitimate experience in a professional capacity to call upon. But if the rookie relaxes, knows his assignments, and doesn't become overawed by the occasion, that's all Carolina's coaching staff is probably looking for at this juncture.

Whether that'll be enough for Zavala to get the starting gig is debatable. However, a strong showing at the New York Giants will improve his chances exponentially.