The Panthers should increase the involvement of their tight ends in the passing game in order to support their rookie quarterback, Bryce Young.

The Panthers should increase the involvement of their tight ends in the passing game in order to support their rookie quarterback, Bryce Young.

According to an article by Steve Reed from the Associated Press,

During training camp, Panthers coach Frank Reich expressed his admiration for the skill of the tight ends on the team.

It is even more puzzling that the Carolina Panthers’ tight ends have been largely absent as the team struggles with an 0-4 record, including a 21-13 defeat by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The total number of catches made by Carolina’s four tight ends in the first four games of the season is only 13, resulting in 114 yards and one touchdown. On Sunday, they only had one catch for a total of 7 yards.

Since a young quarterback like Bryce Young can rely on a tight end as a checkdown option, the Panthers may see advantages in adjusting their offensive strategy to incorporate them more in the future.

Hurst has been the most disappointing among the group.

Hurst, who signed a $21.7 million contract for three years during the offseason as a free agent, caught five passes for 41 yards and scored a touchdown in Carolina’s first game against the Atlanta Falcons. However, he has not been as active in the past three games, only making five catches for 38 yards. He was anticipated to be a key player in the red zone.

This season, Tommy Tremble, Ian Thomas, and Gio Ricci have each made one catch.

Hurst and his team have struggled to create openings and have not received many favorable plays, which has resulted in Young being sacked 11 times in just three games. This is mainly due to the lack of a reliable safety valve option.

Despite receiving high praise this summer, the group’s performance is not meeting expectations.


Eddy Pineiro has been consistently performing well for the Panthers. He successfully kicked two more field goals during Sunday’s game, one of which was a 56-yarder before the end of the first half. Pineiro has made 8 out of 9 field-goal attempts, with his only miss being from a distance of 55 yards. Some of his teammates have nicknamed him “Eddy Money” due to his impressive accuracy. He has made 27 out of his last 28 field-goal attempts, dating back to the previous season.


C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick, is performing well with the Houston Texans. However, Young, who was picked by the Carolina Panthers, is struggling. Stroud has thrown six touchdown passes without any interceptions and has a QB rating of 98. On the other hand, Young has only thrown two touchdowns and two interceptions, resulting in a QB rating of 66.6. It is uncertain if the Panthers are already regretting their decision to draft him so early in his career. There is a growing group of Carolina fans advocating for veteran Andy Dalton to start instead because they believe he gives the team a better chance of winning immediately. In Week 3, Dalton threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-27 loss against Seattle when Young was unable to play due to an ankle injury.


At 33 years old, Adam Thielen is showing that he is still a force to be reckoned with. He has 27 catches, 287 yards, and two touchdowns in four games, making him the leading receiver for the Panthers. Despite an ankle injury, Thielen persevered and caught seven passes for 76 yards against his previous team. On the final drive, he easily scored a touchdown after a deceiving move. However, Thielen’s teammates in the wide receiver position are not providing enough support.

Following the match, Reich commended Thielen for his resilience.

Reich expressed that he believes the individual may have twisted their ankle. He praised their competitive nature, stating that he has a great deal of admiration for them and considers them the best.


The offensive line of Carolina is still facing difficulties. They surrendered five sacks, all of which occurred in the second half, and were unable to create openings for running plays. Miles Sanders only managed to gain 19 yards on 13 rushing attempts. Chuba Hubbard was the leading rusher with 41 yards on 14 carries, but as a whole, the Panthers only averaged 2.7 yards per carry. Additionally, the team had six rushing plays that resulted in no gain or negative yardage.

Great news! Veteran guard Austin Corbett will be able to come back from injured reserve this week.

Unfortunately, it may be a while before Corbett is able to play in a game. He suffered an ACL tear in the last game of the 2022 season and has not participated in any games or practices since then.


On Sunday, the Carolina defense became even more depleted. Donte Jackson, the starting cornerback, sustained a shoulder injury in the first half, resulting in the Panthers being without three of their four starting defensive backs.

Jaycee Horn, a cornerback, is currently unable to play due to a hamstring injury. Similarly, safety Xavier Woods was also unable to participate in the game due to a hamstring injury. As expected, this provided an opportunity for Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who managed to catch six passes for 85 yards and score two touchdowns. However, one of Jefferson’s potential touchdown catches was nullified due to a holding penalty by Josh Oliver.

Earlier, the Panthers suffered the loss of linebacker Shaq Thompson due to a broken leg that ended his season.


Out of 164 teams, only one has been able to make it to the playoffs after starting the season with a record of 0-4. The 1992 Chargers are the only team to accomplish this, leaving the Panthers with a challenging task ahead.


The upcoming Sunday game between the Panthers and the Detroit Lions will not be any less challenging.