3 injured Carolina Panthers set for monumental bounce-back seasons in 2024

The road to redemption is on...
Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Shaq Thompson - Carolina Panthers LB

Shaq Thompson is the undisputed leader of the Carolina Panthers locker room alongside long-snapper J.J. Jansen. They've both been around when the going was extremely good. Lately, they've seen the team descend into complete chaos. Despite this, they've remained a constant presence - a source of inspiration to those looking to carve out their path.

Thompson was set to play a significant role as the primary communicator within Ejiro Evero's creative 3-4 base defensive scheme. The experienced linebacker bought into the plans fully. Unfortunately, the former first-round selection out of Washington lasted just two games before being ruled out for the entire campaign with a significant leg injury.

This was a devastating blow on and off the field. Thompson remained around the team, but his presence between the white lines was sorely missed. Frankie Luvu shone, but there was no consistent presence alongside him at the defensive second level.

Thompson agreed to rework his contract for a second straight offseason. He's a team-first guy and cares deeply about the franchise. He learned from the likes of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis - he is embroiled in the Keep Pounding mantra and wants to be at the forefront of Dan Morgan's cultural reset.

Providing there are no lingering complications from his fractured fibula, Thompson will be like having a new signing when competitive action resumes once again.