We’re 38 days away from the Carolina Panthers 2021 season opener, so today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 38 on the roster — defensive back Myles Hartsfield.
The 23-year-old special teams man enters camp having played in all 16 games during his rookie season last year. The Ole Miss product earned 14 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a pass deflection.
The Panthers signed Hartsfield as an undrafted free agent on April 25, 2020. He competed in training camp in both safety and running back, and made the active roster at the end of camp.
Head coach Matt Rhule and his staff seem to value Hartsfield. Only Julian Stanford was on the field for more special teams snaps in 2020 than Hartsfield, who played 60 percent of all special teams snaps.
Given Hartsfield’s versatility and value, it’s fair to assume that he’ll earn his spot on the 2021 season and be depended on by Rhule’s staff all season.
The question now is where will he play most? Now it appears as though defensive coordinator Phil Snow is giving Hartsfield more snaps on defense.
During Monday’s training camp, Hartsfield worked at the nickel spot that AJ Bouye usually occupies. Bouye previously had left practice with a potential pulled muscle.
Rhule recently called Hartsfield a potential starter at safety as well.