Which Carolina Panthers are fighting for their futures as the team gears up to return from their extended period of bye week rest?
It won't be long before the Carolina Panthers return to their regular routines following the bye week. It's been a period of stern reflection for everyone across the franchise after an abysmal 0-6 start. Still, there is no time for wallowing in self-pity with a chance to finally start building momentum over the next few games.
Frank Reich is coming under increasing pressure so soon into his head coaching tenure. Questions are also being asked of the front office for suspect recruitment and writing checks about winning the NFC South that their current personnel clearly cannot cash.
The Panthers are moving forward with offensive coordinator Thomas Brown as their new play-caller, which has raised optimism where there was once nothing but misery. But if they lose at home to a C.J. Stroud-led Houston Texans, the fury among Carolina's fanbase is likely to reach levels not seen for some time.
The urgency is evident and the heat is on. With this in mind, here are four Panthers players fighting for their futures after the 2023 bye week.
Shy Tuttle - Carolina Panthers DL
There's no doubt Shy Tttle has been a victim of circumstance this season. The Carolina Panthers released Marquan McCall and didn't replace him with a genuine nose tackle, which is having huge implications on Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base defense and their ability to stop the run, in particular.
Tuttle is not a nose tackle despite being asked to fill that void. That's unfair and led to subpar performances, which is something that has to change immediately after the bye week.
Considering Tuttle is making $8.3 million in two consecutive years after this one, cutting him loose entirely doesn't make sound financial sense. But if the lineman wants an extended role beyond 2023, he'll need to make the best of a bad situation.