Panthers Rumors

Panthers Unlikely To Pursue Rentals

  • Entering their Week 8 game, the Panthers may be straddling the buyer-seller line at 3-4. However, they are still in a rebuilding phase in Matt Rhule‘s first season. Any buyer’s deal Carolina makes would be for a player controllable beyond this season rather than a rental who could help the team secure a wild-card spot, Joe Person of The Athletic writes (subscription required).

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/29/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/20

We’ll keep track of the practice squad moves from the past day here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Released: T Jared Hilbers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: K Austin MacGinnis

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Panthers Release CB Eli Apple

Eli Apple‘s hamstring trouble only allowed him to play in two games with the Panthers. They released the former top-10 pick Tuesday.

Apple began the season on IR and aggravated the hamstring malady upon debuting in Week 4. After making his second return in Week 7 against the Saints, the ex-New Orleans corner left Carolina’s Tuesday practice because of a hamstring strain, David Newton of ESPN.com tweets.

While Apple would be entitled to an injury settlement, the Panthers are cutting the cord and turning their outside coverage effort over to younger talent. Carolina has third-year corner Donte Jackson, fourth-year man Corn Elder and former Eagle Rasul Douglas at this position. All three have graded as top-25 corners, in the view of Pro Football Focus, through seven games. The Panthers also drafted Troy Pride in Round 4 and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III in Round 7 this year. Douglas, however, resides on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

Apple played just 28 defensive snaps with the Panthers — all against the Saints on Sunday — and just 34 overall. This marks another setback for the 2016 No. 10 overall pick. Apple has bounced from the Giants to the Saints to the Raiders to the Panthers and back to free agency. In May, the Panthers signed him to a one-year deal after his previous Raiders pact — a one-year, $6MM contract agreed to on the first day of free agency — fell through.

The Ohio State alum is still just 25, however, and started 15 games for the Saints last season. He will almost certainly receive another opportunity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: McCaffrey, Fulton, Carson, Drake

Panthers superstar Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Monday, which is certainly a welcome sign considering he hasn’t been out there since Week 2. While it’s a step in the right direction, it doesn’t mean McCaffrey will be suiting up for Carolina on Thursday Night Football this week. In fact, CMAC is a “long-shot” to play in their division game against the Falcons, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Mike Davis took over as the Panthers’ running back and got off to a hot start, but he’s since cooled off significantly and only had 12 rushing yards yesterday. As such, McCaffrey’s return can’t come quick enough. The Panthers are now 3-4 and desperately need a win over Atlanta if they want to stay in the NFC playoff picture. McCaffrey went down with a high ankle sprain in their Week 2 game against the Bucs and has been sidelined ever since.

Here’s more health updates from around the league:

  • The Titans lost their first game of the season on Sunday, and they also lost a key piece of their defense for a while. Rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton will miss a “few weeks” with a knee injury, according to veteran beat writer Paul Kuharsky (Twitter link). Kuharsky writes that it’s unclear if he’ll go on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least three games. A second-round pick in April’s draft, Fulton has started the Titans’ last two games after missing one on the COVID-19 list. Tennessee’s secondary has already struggled mightily, so this is an unwelcome development for Mike Vrabel’s unit.
  • The Bengals have already had a tough time blocking for Joe Burrow, and Cincy fans everywhere were holding their breath when starting left tackle Jonah Williams went down with a neck injury yesterday. Fortunately, the “early indications” are that the injury is not “overly serious,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapsheet says Williams may miss this week, but there is some optimism he could return after their Week 9 bye. The 11th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Williams missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury but had played every snap this year before going down.
  • Williams isn’t the only member of the Bengals’ offensive line banged up, as starting right tackle Bobby Hart also got hurt against Cleveland. Hart will miss this weekend’s game against Tennessee, head coach Zac Taylor announced Monday. Hart had also started all seven games this season, and now it looks like Burrow might be without each of his starting tackles this season. Given that he’s already been running for his life in most weeks, this could be a recipe for disaster.
  • The Seahawks also lost their first game of the season Sunday, and now it looks like they’ll be without starting running back Chris Carson for a while. Carson suffered a mid-foot sprain that will leave him week to week, Rapoport tweets. While Carson will apparently miss some time it doesn’t sound like anything too serious, and he shouldn’t be on the shelf too long. Fellow running back Travis Homer also got hurt on Sunday night, and we’re still waiting on an update on him.
  • The Cardinals beat Seattle on Sunday night, but unfortunately the recently signed linebacker Isaiah Irving suffered a serious injury and had to be carted off. Irving suffered a back injury that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season, a source told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Signed off Denver’s practice squad a couple of weeks ago, Irving was in his first game with the Cards and was only playing on special teams, so this won’t have too much impact on Arizona’s defense. Hopefully Irving is able to make a swift and full recovery.
  • Irving wasn’t the only Cardinal to go down. Starting running back Kenyan Drake hurt his ankle, and he’s going to miss some time. Drake will miss a few weeks with a slight ligament tear in his ankle, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chase Edmonds, the highly talented change of pace back, will now get a chance to shine in Drake’s absence. Fortunately Arizona has a bye in Week 8, which will reduce the number of games Drake has to miss. Schefter adds that the team is treating the ligament issue essentially like a high ankle sprain.
  • Chargers tight end Virgil Green came down with a crucial touchdown in Los Angeles’ win over the Jaguars, but unfortunately he hurt himself on the play. Green will miss several weeks with a lateral ankle sprain, Rapoport tweets, and he’s a candidate for injured reserve. The Chargers still have Hunter Henry of course, but this is a significant blow as they like to run multiple tight end sets. Second-year UDFA from Stetson Donald Parham also caught a touchdown from Justin Herbert on Sunday, and should be in line for more playing time moving forward. Green, in his third season with the Chargers, has always been more of a blocker than receiver during his ten-year career.

Panthers Cut WR Seth Roberts

Seth Roberts hasn’t seen many balls come his way this season, and now he’ll be looking for a new home. The Panthers have cut the veteran receiver, the team announced Monday.

We heard right after final cuts that Carolina was shopping Roberts, but obviously they couldn’t find any takers. Roberts got a one-year, $3.75MM deal from the Panthers back in March, and ended up only catching four passes for 31 yards for the team. Despite the lack of production he was still receiving real playing time, and he played 41 percent of the defensive snaps just yesterday against the Saints.

A 2014 UDFA from West Alabama, Roberts spent the first five years of his career in Oakland. He had some real success with the Raiders, notching at least 397 yards in four straight seasons from 2015-18. He also had five touchdowns in two of those campaigns. He spent last year with the Ravens and finished with 271 yards and two scores.

Carolina has plenty of talent at receiver with the likes of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel, so Roberts wasn’t really needed much. Still only 29, Roberts should resurface on a cheap deal with a team in need of receiving help at some point soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/24/20

Here is another spree of Saturday minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Moved from IR to reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Michael Joseph

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Promoted: CB Dylan Mabin

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Activated from IR: OL Cameron Clark
  • Promoted: K/P Sergio Castillo, LB Bryce Hager

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/23/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Promoted: DE Henry Mondeaux

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/22/20

Here are Thursday’s practice squad decisions:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Released: RB Michael Warren

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

Latest On Panthers' Joey Slye

Although the Giants are just one game back of the NFC East lead, they are 1-5 and appear on the verge of their fourth straight double-digit loss season. GM Dave Gettleman has presided over the previous two 10-plus-loss campaigns, and some around the league have tabbed the Giants GM job as a potential opening ahead of the 2021 offseason, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com note. The Panthers‘ GM spot has also surfaced around the NFL as one to monitor. Marty Hurney, in place long before Matt Rhule‘s arrival, has been rumored as a potential chopping-block candidate because of Rhule’s overhaul and seven-year contract. Hurney’s contract runs through 2020. Gettleman made his way back to New York shortly after his Carolina ouster, but his rebuild has not taken off. The Giants have never lost double-digit games in four straight seasons.

  • The Panthers placed Joey Slye on their reserve/COVID-19 list and brought in kickers for workouts this week. Carolina has auditioned Casey Bednarski (Minnesota State), Taylor Bertolet and Austin Parker (Duke), per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Bednarski began his coronavirus testing with the team Tuesday, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. None of these kickers has NFL experience. Slye has not tested positive but came in contact with someone who had, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes. The Panthers do not have a kicker on their practice squad, but Slye has not been at the team’s facility since Sunday and could still kick in Week 7.