3 nightmare scenarios for the Carolina Panthers in 2024

The Carolina Panthers cannot suffer these nightmare scenarios in 2024.
Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OL struggles, suffers injuries

One of the primary catalysts behind the Carolina Panthers' demise last season centered on the offensive line. Anticipation for further improvements was there for all to see with this group following a solid 202 campaign. Sadly, this didn't come true.

Those occupying starting positions didn't look suited to the zone-blocking concepts implemented by Frank Reich and Thomas Brown. Veteran right tackle Taylor Moton was the only one to emerge with any credit. Aside from that, it was an unmitigated disaster.

Performance levels weren't up to the required standard. There was also the small matter of countless injury complications that decimated the unit to factor into the equation.

Brady Christensen lasted one game before going to season-ending injured reserve. Austin Corbett came back briefly, but another serious knee complication put pay to his chances. His campaign was cruelly cut short for the second straight year.

The Panthers moved to change all that this offseason. Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis were acquired in free agency to become Carolina's new offensive guard tandem. Corbett is switching to the center position, which is a calculated risk by those in power based on his injury history and lack of experience manning the position.

Dan Morgan and Dave Canales are also keeping faith with Ikem Ekwonu. The former No. 6 overall selection acknowledged that complacency crept into his game last season and he paid the price. With blocking responsibilities to suit once again, the North Carolina State product set his sights on bouncing back emphatically in 2024.

This is all positive and should help quarterback Bryce Young enormously. But if the same inconsistent production arrives and the projected starting unit can't stay healthy, it'll significantly derail Carolina's chances of making offensive improvements with Canales leading the charge.

If Ekwonu finds life difficult once again, the Panthers have a bigger problem on their hands. One that could result in a position switch or going in a different direction entirely.