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Five things to watch at Chicago: On the road in primetime 

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CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are looking to get back on track in primetime this week.

Carolina (1-7) travels to face the Chicago Bears (2-7) at Solider Field on Thursday Night Football. 

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. in Chicago. Fans can check out more information on how to watch here.

Here are five things to check out during the game.

Running back rotation

Running back Miles Sanders showed improvement after a difficult start to his tenure at Carolina, pacing the Panthers' lone touchdown drive against the Colts last week.

Sanders put up 39 yards on six carries and added 22 yards on three catches, paving the way downfield in the second half last Sunday.

Chuba Hubbard remains Carolina's most productive rusher on the season, totaling 328 yards on 85 carries with a touchdown.

Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said he's looking to get the duo of Sanders and Hubbard, along with second-year Raheem Blackshear, in a steady rotation as the Panthers look to establish more offensive identity through the run game.

"Starting to do a really good job of trying to keep those guys involved as much as possible from a rotation standpoint and keep them fresh," Brown said. "As we've mentioned before, what those guys do well, skill-set wise, (to) put them in a spot to give them an opportunity to be able to showcase it on game day."

Outside linebacker depth

The Panthers are dealing with a hefty number of injuries, particularly on defense, and the situation has called for them to lean on depth at key spots.

Head coach Frank Reich ruled star pass rusher Brian Burns out with a concussion he sustained against Indianapolis, and he's just a recent addition to a long list of injuries to the Panthers' group of outside linebackers.

Justin Houston and Yetur Gross-Matos remain on injured reserve, and while Marquis Haynes Sr. returned to practice this week from IR (opening his 21-day window to return), he hasn't been activated yet. They also added newcomer Luiji Vilain to IR on Tuesday with a knee issue.

That leaves Carolina with rookie DJ Johnson and second-year Amaré Barno as healthy options on the 53-man roster, and they can once again elevate practice squad outside linebacker Eku Leota (he has one elevation left).

Starting cornerback CJ Henderson, who is also dealing with a concussion from the Colts game, won't play this week either. With Jaycee Horn on injured reserve since Week 2, the Panthers will rely upon veteran Donte Jackson and likely Dicaprio Bootle against the Bears' group of receivers.

Stopping the run

The Panthers have improved upon a critical aspect of their defense, stopping the run more consistently in their last two games after the bye (against Houston and Indianapolis).

After allowing opponents an average of 144.3 yards per game, the Texans rushed for 110 yards, and the Colts ran for a season-low 78 against the Panthers.

Now that the defense is facing the Bears' fourth-ranked rushing offense (135.3 yards per game), that improvement is something they'll look for.

"The effort has been there the whole year; the physicality, it's just the nature of playing football in the NFL," defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said. "You get better as you work through the year, and that's just what's happened.

"And I think our guys are understanding the scheme better. They're understanding their techniques and fundamentals better. I think we're getting to know our guys better. We're probably making better adjustments that are more suited to their play style. So I think it's been just the nature of the NFL, getting better as you work through the year."

Young looks for a bounce-back on a short week

Rookie quarterback Bryce Young is preparing for Chicago after a tough outing against Indianapolis.

Young threw three interceptions, including two pick-sixes, in the loss.

On a short week, he doesn't have too much time to do anything other than focus ahead to Chicago. He said he would "accelerate" things from a process standpoint since they didn't have the full week routine.

"You don't have much time to waste," Young said. "You have to expedite some things. But, with that being said, you're still responsible for the same things. You still have to go out and know the same stuff. I make sure I watch the same stuff, make sure that, although practices may – obviously, with this different week, the practice schedule looks differently – still responsible for getting those reps, being ready.

"It's something that's unique for me, something that's new. Also, I've been able to ask some guys that have played in Thursday night games (for) little nuggets they have. So taking that. Obviously, it's a different process, different week. ... We have to do everything we can, regardless of that, to make sure we're at our best on Thursday."

DJ Moore

Former Panthers in Chicago

The Panthers will see two familiar faces on the Bears' offense this week.

Former Carolina wide receiver DJ Moore joined Chicago's roster in the Panthers' trade for the No. 1 overall pick while running back D'Onta Foreman signed with the Bears this offseason.

Moore has become the Bears' leading pass catcher, totaling 735 yards on 47 catches with five touchdowns this season. Foreman is Chicago's leading rusher even though he's only played in five games, partially because of an injury to running back Khalil Herbert.

Foreman took over while Herbert was on IR with an ankle issue and has rushed for 287 yards and two touchdowns on 65 attempts, paired with 43 yards on seven catches with a receiving touchdown.

Carolina is 4-6 all-time against the Chicago Bears.

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