It looks like the move that many Panthers fans have been clamoring for might finally happen. The team is expected to bench Kyle Allen and start rookie Will Grier at quarterback in Week 16, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Allen showed well during a Week 17 spot start last year, and did enough in camp to beat out Grier to be Cam Newton‘s backup at the start of the season. Newton was soon sidelined by his foot injury and eventually placed on injured reserve, so Allen has been starting since Week 3. He had some initial success, and the Panthers won each of his first four starts. There was even some talk of Allen potentially starting over a healthy Newton and being Carolina’s quarterback of the future, but after a hot start he faded pretty fast.
He’s been falling apart in recent weeks, throwing ten interceptions over his past five games. Carolina raised some eyebrows by drafting Grier in the third-round back in April, but he’s yet to take a regular season snap. A West Virginia product, there were some analysts during his last year in college who thought he was a first or second round prospect. He slipped a bit as the pre-draft process went on, and ended up going 100th overall.
He’ll now be seeing his first regular season action on the road against the Colts. The Panthers have one of the most interesting offseasons ahead of them of any team, with reports suggesting they might look to move on from Newton this spring. With so much uncertainty at the position, it makes sense why they’d want to take a look at Grier over the final two games.
With this move, Allen’s days as a starter are likely over for the foreseeable future. It was a nice story for a while, and his rapid rise and fall are a good reminder that nothing lasts long in the National Football League. A second-year UDFA from Houston, Allen can be brought back cheaply next year so it’s possible he’ll once again be Carolina’s backup in 2020.
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