4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering Week 5 at the Lions

At 0-4, fingers are being pointed...

Shy Tuttle
Shy Tuttle / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers find themselves firmly on the hot seat sitting at 0-4 ahead of their trip to the Detroit Lions in Week 5?

The last thing that the Carolina Panthers probably need at this stage of the campaign with no wins to show from their efforts to date is a trip to a team poised to make a giant leap into legitimate playoff contention. However, it's not like Frank Reich's men have anything to lose going into the game as heavy underdogs, so throwing caution to the wind might represent the best course of action versus the Detroit Lions.

Of course, a fifth-straight loss ahead of another road game before the bye - at the Miami Dolphins, no less - won't be well received by a fanbase that's becoming increasingly disillusioned. Something nobody expected this early after getting sold dreams of postseason football and a potential NFC South title before a competitive down was played.

The Panthers are putting out the message that they can still salvage something from the current campaign. Whether they trade for another wide receiver or not, going into the bye at 0-6 is a distinct possibility - one that could lead to huge changes in approach and some substantial soul-searching at the very least.

But for some, the pressure couldn't be greater. With this in mind, here are four Panthers who find themselves on the hot seat entering Week 5 at the Lions.

Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE

This ship might have already sailed, in all honesty. But after another game of suspect blocking and dropping a touchdown pass, Ian Thomas' time with the Carolina Panthers could be hanging by a thread.

It was clear from some way out that any slim hopes the Panthers had for Thomas to become the heir to Greg Olsen's throne were never going to bear fruit. Now, any prospects of the player becoming their long-term blocking specialist from the tight-end position are also falling by the wayside.

Any more failings from Thomas could see him fall further down the pecking order. Especially considering Stephen Sullivan is back at practice and looking to make an impact.