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Carolina Panthers move Jeremy Chinn back to college position

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Jeremy Chinn (21) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers linebacker Jeremy Chinn has transitioned back to his college position for his second NFL season.

Chinn, who wears No. 21 and lined up at safety for 237 snaps as a rookie, was a standout outside linebacker in 2020. Head coach Matt Rhule said Chinn is now working almost exclusively at safety, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be easy to locate in the defensive formation.

“Right now, I am meeting with the safeties and the DBs,” Chinn, 23, said. “I’m comfortable playing safety. I’m comfortable playing any position, so wherever I’m needed, I will play.”

Related: NFL defense rankings – Outlook for 2021 season

Chinn said he “didn’t ask any questions” when approached about moving back to the safety level of the Panthers’ defense.

Chinn racked up 116 tackles in 2020 to lead all rookies. He lined up in the box for 392 snaps last season and 230 snaps as a slot corner in addition to the time as a traditional safety.

At Southern Illinois, Chinn was designated as a safety but spent a lot of time close to the line of scrimmage. That’s the type of versatile role Rhule expects Chinn to play in 2021.

“It’s rare to have a guy that big, with that size and that intelligence level,” Rhule said. “He’s one of those guys that can fill a lot of different roles for us.”

–Field Level Media