Marquis Haynes Sr. - Carolina Panthers OLB
It seemed as if a big opportunity was awaiting Marquis Haynes Sr. in 2023. The Carolina Panthers were switching to a 3-4 base defensive scheme under high-profile coordinator Ejiro Evero and with no real investment in the pass-rushing options opposite Brian Burns, many thought the Ole Miss product could be in line for a well-deserved promotion.
The early signs were positive for Haynes. He looked explosive over early workouts and camp, but his progress was derailed by a back injury that played a huge role in Carolina signing former All-Pro Justin Houston to assist with their efforts on the edge.
Haynes took time to recover, but all signs pointed to the player being ready to rock in Week 1. However, he suffered a big enough setback to be placed on injured/reserve, meaning he'll miss the first four games of the campaign.
This is a substantial blow, especially considering how Haynes has proved his worth as an extremely dependable situational rusher. He's also entering a contract year, so missing extended time is the last thing he needs.
While there is hope Haynes can do enough to earn another extension, everything is up in the air with a new regime that wasn't around when he was drafted. Therefore, the veteran must leave no doubt when called upon, even if he'll be playing catch-up when finally activated.