4 burning questions from Carolina Panthers fans heading into Week 3 at Seahawks

Carolina Panthers fans have plenty on their minds.

Bryce Young and Josh McCown
Bryce Young and Josh McCown / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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The loss of Shaq Thompson and Jeremy Chinn's place on defense

How much is Shaq Thompson’s injury going to hurt this defense? Do you think Chinn can fill in at iLB? If not what do you think the plan for Chinn is? Only played 35% of defensive snaps - Micah M.

A nice two-for-one question from Micah!

Losing linebacker Shaq Thompson to a broken fibula is a blow no matter what. He was the heart and soul of the Carolina Panthers defense and has been since Luke Kuechly's retirement. His leadership and competitiveness will be missed.

However, backup Kamu Grugier-Hill made the defensive operation post-Thompson more seamless. Ejiro Evero's defense overall never faded when the first-round pick went down thanks to his smooth introduction.

Grugier-Hill came in and played great football, showing great pursuit angles, closing speed, and discipline in coverage alongside rockstar linebacker Frankie Luvu.

As for Jeremy Chinn, I could see him playing more linebacker as the season goes on. Especially if backup Deion Jones doesn't become a viable option and the defense begins to struggle overall.

The soon-to-be free agent has a role in this defense. But unfortunately, Chinn has yet to make a significant impact as expected.

As Micah mentioned, Chinn played only 35 percent of all defensive snaps Monday night. This was likely due to the game plan versus the speed of the New Orleans Saints' weapons and considering his size, Troy Hill would've benefitted in taking most of the nickel reps.

I think the former second-round selection will be okay. Some games he may be on the field for the majority of the matchup while others could be something similar to Monday night.

Again, it is likely all game plan-based. Chinn can still make an impact defensively when given the opportunity.

However, his odds of being on the team post-2023 are starting to become more and more unlikely with each game. We will be keeping tabs on this as Chinn's play and situation develops throughout the campaign.

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