Which players are still in contention for next season?
— Panthers rookie defensive lineman Jelani Jenkins was named to the Pro Bowl.
But the team was short-handed with injuries, and the club announced it was pulling him from practice after just three snaps of practice.
The rookie defensive end is out for the season, with a fractured thumb and bruised ribs.
Predicting the future of the NFL’s best defenseThe Pro Bowl has a reputation for being one of the best showcases for the best players in the league, but it is also a time for the worst, as well as the best.
There’s no way to know if the Panthers are the worst team in football, but Jenkins is an easy pick to be drafted as one of three players off the board.
His play in the preseason and regular season made him the first pick of the 2018 draft.
He’s had the chance to play alongside Pro Bowl linebackers Jameis Winston and Kawann Short.
He has shown he’s more than capable of playing alongside both Winston and Short, and he should be able to do the same in a starting role.
This is not a situation that could be easily resolved.
And with the team’s first round pick, a 2018 second-rounder, already gone, it seems unlikely the Panthers will draft a linebacker.
However, this is not the same Panthers defense that has been so successful this season.
It’s a different defensive line, with more pass rush and more pressure.
The Panthers have more defensive linemen in the lineup this year.
This is the first time in Panthers history they have had five defensive tackles in the starting lineup.
They had seven last year, with Winston and Long Snapper Kony Ealy being the only other players with more than five.
If they don’t have more, the Panthers might have to get creative.