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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 45 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 regular season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We are slowly but surely grinding our way toward the kick off of the Panthers 2022 regular season. Since we are now down to 45 days to go, this piece will focus on No. 45 on the roster — fullback Giovanni Ricci.

Ricci (6’3, 240) was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent that season on the Panthers practice squad after being initially waived by the team. The following season, Ricci was signed to a reserve/future contract by the Panthers. He then signed a 1-year extension with the squad back in January, which will take him through this coming regular season. Ricci played college ball at Western Michigan, where he split time between tight end and fullback. He was actually a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award in 2019, which is given to the nation’s best collegiate tight end.

Ricci will have to lean heavily on that versatility to make the 53-man roster this season. Since most offenses in the NFL do not use fullbacks very often, being able to split between the fullback and third tight end slots could allow him to break camp with the team. The team also has Tommy Tremble entering his second season, and they seem to like his ability to block out of the backfield. If Ben McAdoo decides to use multiple tight end sets fairly often this season, maybe Ricci and Tremble both make the team. We will find out soon enough.

What do you think Panthers fans? Will Ricci make enough impact in the receiving and blocking areas of the game to make the final roster? Sound off in the comments!