4 bold changes the Carolina Panthers must consider in Week 4 vs. Vikings

A must-win game awaits the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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What bold changes must the Carolina Panthers consider when they take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 at Bank of America Stadium?

Things might not be going as everyone associated with the Carolina Panthers had hoped to start the season, but all hope is not lost just yet. Of course, it's not looking good at 0-3 with the red-hot Miami Dolphins upcoming in Week 5, so big characters are needed to avoid complete capitulation after so much hope throughout the preparation period.

Before the Panthers make their daunting trip to Miami, Frank Reich's men embark on a home contest against the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. Kevin O'Connell's squad is also winless after losing their ability to come through in clutch situations, so the stakes couldn't be higher.

This is a must-win for both teams. There's just no telling what the atmosphere will be like among Carolina's fanbase if the result doesn't go their way, which is added urgency that could lead to improved performance levels in the face of adversity.

The coaching staff could also begin to take risks they haven't done previously. With that in mind, here are four bold changes Carolina must consider in Week 4.

Carolina Panthers could bench Chandler Zavala

It's clear that Chandler Zavala is not ready to be an NFL starter. That's not a slight on the fourth-round selection, who was seen as a development project with high upside before the Carolina Panthers brought him into the fold from the college ranks.

Zavala was woeful at the Seattle Seahawks and if the Panthers want to do right by the player, they'd take him out of the firing line. The problem is, who do they have to replace him?

Cade Mays hasn't progressed as expected, so putting him in would be a risk. The Panthers have Justin McCray on the practice squad, who is limited but does boast experience as an NFL starter.

Either way, the extra stress on Zavala isn't doing him any favors whatsoever.