Which Carolina Panthers players could tip the scales in their favor during tonight's preseason game against the Detroit Lions?
Mercifully, the last Carolina Panthers preseason game is just a few short hours away. This has been one of the most arduous processes in recent memory, with high expectations and two straight defeats coming with plenty of asinine takes from fans across social media before a competitive down.
Frank Reich and his all-world coaching staff know how to get their men ready for battle. They should be trusted far more than the previous regime and that doesn't change just because things haven't gone their way during meaningless games where no regular-season scheme concepts are being deployed.
That's not to say there aren't high stakes for many against the Detroit Lions. Those looking to make the roster or force their way into Carolina's rotation can help their cause considerably this evening at Bank of America Stadium, so it'll be fascinating to see which individuals come to the fore.
On this topic, here are three Panthers players who can tip the scales in their favor versus the Lions.
Chandler Zavala - Carolina Panthers OL
With Austin Corbett and Cade Mays out through injury, the Carolina Panthers are giving Chandler Zavala an opportunity to further enhance his status on the starting offensive line against the Detroit Lions. The fourth-round selection missed some time during camp through injury, but he's hit the ground running ever since and gave a good account of himself while more experienced figures underperformed last time out.
This was enough for Frank Reich to continue with Zavala at the right guard position. If the North Carolina State product can prove that last weekend was no fluke, then one could make a strong case for throwing the rookie in at the deep end for their regular-season opener at the Atlanta Falcons.
If Zavala cannot meet expectations, then the Panthers might go with Mays or Justin McCray until Corbett is healthy enough to participate.