4 notable reunions in the Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 schedule
Notable reunion No. 2 in 2023 - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Carolina Panthers
Is it Jaguars South? The island of the misfit Jaguars? The Carolina Panthers has become in recent years a landing spot for Jaguars players. Back in 2021, Jacksonville traded cornerback C.J. Henderson to the Carolina Panthers for a third-round pick and tight end Dan Arnold.
Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was next. The former Colorado Buffalo was shipped to Carolina before the start of the 2022 season and most recently, wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. signed with Panthers. All these players were starters for the Jaguars in the 2020 opener but have seen their stock drop over the last three years.
Shenault and Henderson flashed potential as rookies but they then hit a wall. On the other hand, Chark Jr. made the Pro Bowl in 2019 but a series of injuries have held him back since then. Had he stayed healthy, there's a chance he would be a top-20 receiver right now.
The truth is that it's hard to see the Panthers beating the Jaguars in 2023. Simply, they don't have enough talent to compete right now, and quarterback Bryce Young might need a year or two before he hits his stride in the NFL. Then again, Jacksonville can't underestimate any opponent, especially one composed of former players that will be incentivized to stick it to them.
Leaving former players aside, another reunion that will take place when the Jags play against the Panthers is against head coach Fran Reich. They used to face them twice a season since 2018 until he got fired in the middle of the 2022 season. This isn't the kind of matchup that will get the headlines but it's noteworthy that the Jags will keep facing Reich even though he's no longer in the AFC South.