We’re 96 days away from the Panthers 2022 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 96 on the roster — defensive end Austin Larkin.
The Panthers signed the 27-year-old Larkin (6’3, 265) as a free agent on Aug. 28, 2020 and placed him on the practice squad on Sept. 6. Larkin was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2018 and spent the 2019 season with Atlanta where he bounced between the active roster and the practice squad for the majority of the year. He played college football at Notre Dame before transferring to Purdue, where he tallied 42 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble in two years for the Boilermakers.
Larkin played in nine games for the Panthers in 2020 and totaled 12 tackles. He spent the second half of last season on the Panthers’ practice squad and did not see any game action. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Panthers on Jan. 11.
Larkin will compete for a roster spot with Frank Herron, Darryl Johnson and Drew Jordan, but he’ll have to contribute on special teams to find a way on the 53-man roster. With a rotation that includes Brian Burns, Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos, it will be difficult for Larkin to find much playing time outside of the special teams unit if he’s able to make the team. He could also be a candidate for the practice squad and be used for potential injury depth if needed.
What are you expecting from Larkin this year, Panthers fans? Do you think he’ll make the 53-man roster? Share your thoughts with us!