The Carolina Panthers have extra quarterback issues, and it isn’t making life simpler for coach Ron Rivera, whose group has misplaced seven video games in a row.
“We’re all being evaluated,” Rivera mentioned Monday. “We’ll be evaluated for this final sport, and we’ll be evaluated for the season.”
First-year proprietor David Tepper is doing a lot of the evaluating, however Rivera mentioned his periods with Tepper have been productive.
“We have sat down, we have talked quite a bit about going ahead and the easiest way to method issues, the very best issues that you are able to do in a management place,” Rivera mentioned. “I believe that is precious, when you’ll be able to have an proprietor who’s going to grasp, and have a look at issues and see issues and work issues out.”
The Panthers (6-9) play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints have already clinched the highest seed within the NFC for the playoffs, so it’s unclear whether or not they are going to relaxation a few of their starters.
Rivera plans to guage a few of his youthful gamers on Sunday, which can imply some starters, reminiscent of operating again Christian McCaffrey, might not play all the sport.
McCaffrey has performed 96.95 % of the Panthers’ offensive snaps this season, in keeping with the Charlotte Observer, and linebacker Luke Kuechly performed 97.67 % of the defensive snaps.
“What we’ve to do is we’ve to be sensible with these guys going ahead,” Rivera mentioned. “We additionally must get a possibility to guage. We have now to be lifelike. Be trustworthy.”
With quarterback Cam Newton on the injured record, backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke made his first profession begin in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to Atlanta. However he suffered an elbow damage in that sport and was scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
Third-string rookie quarterback Kyle Allen is the one different quarterback on the lively roster, and the Panthers would quite not activate Newton for the final sport.
Allen performed a bit in Sunday’s sport after Heinicke’s damage, however the Panthers might must signal a quarterback if Heinicke can not play.
“We’ll see. I do not wish to get into these hypotheticals but,” Rivera mentioned. “I actually will not have a greater really feel till later at this time or in all probability really feel of it by Wednesday for certain.”
–QB Kyle Allen, an undrafted rookie out of Houston who had been promoted from the Panthers’ apply squad final week, bought in Sunday’s sport and accomplished all 4 of his passes for 38 yards, together with a 24-yard go to Jarius Wright.
–RB Christian McCaffrey ran for 101 yards and caught 12 passes for 77 extra on Sunday. McCaffrey has 106 receptions this season, breaking the NFL report for receptions by a operating again (102 for Matt Forte in 2014). He additionally broke Carolina’s single-season franchise report for many receptions by a Panthers participant no matter place (Steve Smith had 103 in 2005). Lastly, McCaffrey turned the third participant in NFL historical past to report at the least 100 receptions and 1,000 speeding yards in a single season (becoming a member of LaDainian Tomlinson and Matt Forte).
–QB Taylor Heinicke was 33 of 53 for 274 yards, one landing and three interceptions on Sunday in his first profession begin. He needed to go away the sport with an elbow damage.
–WR Jarius Wright had season highs in each receptions (seven) and receiving yards (69) in Sunday loss to Atlanta.
–LB Luke Kuechly had six whole tackles Sunday, bringing his season whole to 130.