5 winners and losers from Carolina Panthers 2023 training camp Week 1

There's been a lot to unpack throughout the first week of Carolina Panthers training camp.

Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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Loser No. 1

Ian Thomas - Carolina Panthers TE

The Carolina Panthers are expecting much better production from the tight-end unit in 2023. There is now a scheme in place that plays to their strengths, with the addition of veteran free-agent Hayden Hurst something else that should help rookie quarterback Bryce Young enormously.

It's been a modest opening to training camp from the group according to those in attendance. Hurst's flashed on occasion, Tommy Tremble had a much better practice at Back Together Saturday, and Stephen Sullivan's physical attributes have also caught the eye once or twice.

As for Ian Thomas, not so much.

The former fourth-round selection has been anonymous in comparison, which is in keeping with his subpar efforts in the passing game since Greg Olsen was allowed to leave for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020 free agency. While his blocking exploits mean a roster spot is almost assured, that might be all he can hope for unless dramatic improvements arrive beforehand.

Thomas is such a curious case. He has every athletic intangible needed to become a complete tight end, yet it's just not come together entering Year 6 of his professional career despite countless opportunities.

It does seem for all the smart money as if Thomas is going to be an afterthought in the passing game, especially if Tremble makes strides. So the blocking part of playing the position might be the saving grace that keeps him around.