Carolina Panthers are a wounded animal
The Carolina Panthers are already struggling with injuries in 2023, losing three starters in cornerback Jaycee Horn, left guard Brady Christensen, and now linebacker and team captain Shaq Thompson.
Thompson went down after he was leg was rolled up on accidentally by a teammate. The cart immediately came out for the former first-round pick, which was later diagnosed as a broken fibula. He has already undergone surgery to repair the injury and aims to return in 2024.
If that wasn't bad enough, the Panthers are also without rookie quarterback Bryce Young due to an ankle complication. Andy Dalton is the veteran tasked with stepping up and increasing production, but it's yet another hurdle for Frank Reich to overcome during a difficult first few weeks to begin the regular season.
The Panthers are a wounded animal, there's no getting away from it. How they respond will tell us a significant amount about the character within the locker room and nothing else than a huge performance will do.
Not many are expecting the Panthers to get anything from this one with so many key figures out of the lineup. That's generally when Carolina's been at its best over the years, so it'll be interesting to see if the same trend continues under Reich's new regime.