Panthers News: Bryce Young, Ikem Ekwonu, Shi Smith and Matt Corral

Exploring the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Matt Corral
Matt Corral / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers' confidence in Ikem Ekwonu

The Carolina Panthers are going against the grain somewhat and playing their starters in the preseason finale against the Detroit Lions. This has been done with a view to improving cohesion and ensuring standards increase before the regular season opener at the Atlanta Falcons gets here.

While this increases the risk of injury, the benefits are obvious. For players like Ikem Ekwonu who've struggled to generate any sort of momentum during warmup games, it's about putting in a good outing before things get more serious.

While some doubts are creeping in about Ekwonu on social media, head coach Frank Reich's confidence is supremely confident in the former first-round pick based on his comments via David Newton of ESPN. This is down to his rookie performances and how much growth the edge presence conducted himself throughout camp.

"Lot of confidence in Ickey. I have no concerns about him playing winning football and being one of the true anchors of our offensive line. After the year that he had last year, the training camp he’s had, not only is he going to be a really good player for us, he’s going to be a good leader. We have had a couple of miscues that he’s been involved in, but those things will get worked out."

Frank Reich via ESPN

Ekwonu has far too much talent for this subpar production to linger for long. The athletic gifts are there for all to see, so it's just about cleaning up mental errors to do a more effective job of protecting Bryce Young's blindside.