In a move that wasn't expected to happen for a couple years, Carolina's chances at a winning record this season seemed to completely fall.
Along with Peppers, Carolina sent starting defensive tackles Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis packing, as they signed with new teams, leaving Carolina with new starters Everette Brown, Charles Johnson, Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler on the defensive line.
In three preseason games, Carolina has a combined total of 18 sacks. Their defensive line has looked just as good as any in the NFL, lead by Peppers-replacement Everette Brown, rookie Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.
Peppers, on the other hand, has two sacks this preseason.
Although I am not a big believer in preseason games, this Panthers defensive line has looked incredible during these three games.
With the Rotation of Everette Brown, Charles Johnson, Tyler Brayton, rookie Greg Hardy and Eric Moore at defensive end, I see Panther fans forgetting who Julius Peppers even is.
The player who has put the biggest impression on me during the preseason is rookie defensive end Greg Hardy.
The sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss has put up a strong performance this preseason, recording three sacks.
At 6'4", 277 pounds, Hardy has reminded quite a few of former Panther Julius Peppers. He was once considered a high-first round pick before injuries and his attitude became an issue, resulting in him slipping to the sixth round.
This should be an exciting football season for Carolina, and with one more preseason game left, we will get a last look at these defensive ends until the 53-man roster cuts begin.