4 critical observations from Carolina Panthers’ putrid defeat vs. Colts in Week 9

It was a afternoon to forget...

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Pressure on Carolina Panthers GM Scott Fitterer

I feel I've been lenient when it comes to Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer. But many fans are reaching the end of their tether. He was given a grace period following the firing of Matt Rhule as it seemed the former head coach held all the power, but since then, the front office figure has done little to inspire confidence.

A look at the Panthers’ roster and the lack of depth is astounding. Although injuries have been a factor, the Panthers still lack NFL-quality backup options.

Sunday saw the likes of Eku Leota and Dicaprio Bootle seeing extended runs. These are a pair of rookie undrafted free agents who are likely practice squad players at best.

Not only do the Panthers lack depth, Fitterer has failed to impress with any of his free agency or draft moves. The likes of Hayden Hurst, Miles Sanders, Shy Tuttle, and D.J. Chark have failed to make an impact. Outside of Adam Thielen, this free agency group has been disastrous.

When it comes to the draft, things have been no better. Jaycee Horn - while talented - is injury-prone, and with Patrick Surtain II and Micah Parsons both balling out with their respective franchises, questions remain over the pick.

Ikem Ekwonu has regressed alarmingly and is fast becoming a human turnstile. Another big-time concern.

Outside the first round, things have arguably been worse. The Panthers have selected 19 players outside the top 32 since 2021 when Fitterer came into the fold - only 11 remain on the roster.

One could argue we’ve only seen an impact from Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble and Brady Christensen, so just three of Fitterer’s 19 picks outside the round have found success on the roster. If things don't improve, David Tepper might be forced into drastic action.