4 important takeaways as Carolina Panthers turn the page on Week 8 triumph

There was a lot to unpack...
Eddy Pineiro and Johnny Hekker
Eddy Pineiro and Johnny Hekker / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers have a left tackle issue

It’s getting to the point for Ikem Ekwonu that his play is so bad, things may be worse than just a sophomore slump. A torrid season so far for the former North Carolina State man culminated in a horror show on Sunday.

Matched up against 2020 third-round pick Jonathon Greenard, Ekwonu had an awful day, allowing the ex-Florida man to explode for 2.5 sacks. This almost doubled his tally for the season.  

Carolina Panthers fans can take some hope from the fact another former first-round left tackle - Andrew Thomas - struggled supremely in his second year before figuring things out. However, Ekownu’s downward trend is becoming a serious concern.

The pairing of Ekwonu and Calvin Throckmorton constantly allowed pressure. While inconsistencies are understandable from an undrafted free-agent journeyman, Ekwonu is a top-10 pick who is meant to be your franchise tackle.   

For the rest of this season, there’s no clear solution. With Brady Christensen on injured/reserve, there’s no opportunity to kick Ekwonu into the left guard spot and put the former BYU stud in his collegiate position.

Unless offensive line coach James Campen trusts Ricky Lee or David Sharpe to protect Bryce Young's blindside, Ekwonu needs to figure it out - otherwise, he may find himself in a camp battle ahead of the 2024 campaign.