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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Shy Tuttle - Carolina Panthers DL

The Carolina Panthers run defense has not been up to scratch through four weeks. There are some aspects of Ejiro Evero's unit that look highly encouraging - especially considering the injury problems at all three levels - but something is amiss when it comes to preventing yards on the ground.

This all starts upfront. The Panthers were counting on Shy Tuttle to provide the anchor at nose tackle within Evero's 3-4 base scheme, but the veteran free-agent signing is struggling to find his feet and come up with the consistency needed.

In fairness to Tuttle, he's probably best suited to a 3-4 defensive end rather than clogging up the interior. However, the Panthers released Marquan McCall shortly before final cuts and didn't replace him with a genuine like-for-like, which left Evero with no option other than to work with the hand he's been dealt.

How much longer Carolina persists with Tuttle at the nose is likely dependent on how he gets on over the next fortnight. If performance levels don't improve, those in power might utilize the bye week to potentially acquire another option to fortify the defensive trenches.

That sounds a little harsh on Tuttle, who could be playing out of position for the good of the team. But giving up 136.3 rushing yards per game is simply not going to cut it.