Taylor Heinicke

Panthers Place Taylor Heinicke On IR

The Panthers have a new quarterback. On Wednesday, Carolina placed Taylor Heinicke on injured reserve and signed Garrett Gilbert to replace him. 

Heinicke took over as the starting QB after Cam Newton was shut down due to a shoulder injury. Then, on Sunday against the Falcons, Heinicke fell hard on his elbow in the second quarter. He mustered up the courage to return to the game after a brief exit, but a Wednesday morning MRI revealed a serious injury for the fill-in and it will necessitate a stint on the IR.

With Gilbert in the fold, the Panthers now have two healthy QBs in Heinicke and Kyle Allen. Allen, in all likelihood, will get the start in the Panthers’ season finale.

Gilbert, meanwhile, offers some familiarity with the Panthers’ offense since he was with the team in the in 2017 and the 2018 offseason. For now, he’ll put his opportunity with Orlando Apollos of the AAF on hold for a chance to prove himself on the NFL’s gridiron.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Panthers’ Quarterbacks

It sounds like Cam Newton will be able to avoid offseason shoulder surgery. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Panthers quarterback doesn’t have any structural damage to his throwing shoulder (Twitter link). This means Newton won’t have to undergo surgery (or deal with the accompanying rehab) during the offseason.

While Newton only recently acknowledged his shoulder injury, Rapoport says the quarterback had been dealing with pain through the second half of the season. This clearly had an impact on his production; over his past three games, Newton threw only two touchdowns vs. six interceptions (he had thrown seven interceptions in his team’s previous 11 games). The Panthers decided to shut down their franchise quarterback, allowing Taylor Heinicke to take over as the starter.

Unfortunately, the former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion also suffered an injury during yesterday’s loss to the Falcons. Head coach Ron Rivera said Heinicke will undergo an MRI on his elbow today (via ESPN’s David Newton on Twitter). The quarterback was briefly knocked out of yesterday’s game after suffering an elbow injury, but he returned and managed to finish the game. He ended up completing 33 of his 53 pass attempts for 274 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. He also added 33 rushing yards.

If Heinicke is unable to go during the team’s season finale against the Saints, Kyle Allen would likely earn the starting nod. The rookie quarterback had a brief cameo during yesterday’s contest, completing all four of his passes for 38 yards. Newton notes that activating Newton “doesn’t sound like an option.” Joe Person of The Athletic tweets that the team could also consider adding signal-caller Garrett Gilbert, who was cut by the team prior to the regular season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Claim QB Taylor Heinicke

The Panthers picked up quarterback Taylor Heinicke off waivers. The QB was cut by the Texans on Friday. 

Heinicke, 25, threw his only NFL pass to date in a 34-6 loss to the Steelers last year. The Old Dominion product hasn’t made much noise over the last three years with the Vikings, Patriots, or Texans, but he’ll look to stick on the Panthers’ roster as a backup to Cam Newton.

For now, Newton, Garrett Gilbert, and Heinicke are the only three QBs on Carolina’s roster. At the owner’s meetings, coach Ron Rivera indicated that veteran Derek Anderson could still be re-signed to serve as Newton’s primary backup.

We’re looking for a guy that can eventually be the No. 2 guy for a long time,” Rivera said “We’re looking for that next guy, not necessarily to replace Derek but to come in and be ready to eventually replace him.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Claim TE Matt Lengel

The Texans have been awarded tight end Matt Lengel off of waivers from the Browns. In order to make room, the team cut quarterback Taylor Heinicke

Lengel was one of seven players dropped by Cleveland on Thursday, along with tight end Gavin Escobar, linebacker Max Bullough, defensive back C.J. Smith, wide receivers Bug Howard and Larry Pinkard, and running back Kelvin Taylor. Smith also found a new home on Friday after being claimed by the Broncos.

Lengel, 27, first entered the league as a UDFA with the Bengals in 2015. In 2016, he hooked on with the Patriots where he caught his only NFL touchdown to date. Last year, he was waived/injured by the Pats and found his way to the Browns practice squad. He earned a promotion midway through the year and saw time in a December loss to the Bears.

There’s an opportunity for Lengel to make the Texans’ final cut. He joins a TE group that presently includes Stephen Anderson, Ryan Malleck, MyCole Pruitt, Ryan Malleck, and Jevoni Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/14/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/29/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: RB Darius Victor

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Read more

NFL Workout Updates: 11/14/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • T Laurence Gibson (link)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

  • TEs Brandon Barnes, Gabe Holmes (link)

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • LSs Ryan DiSalvo, Andrew East, Drew Ferris (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/10/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers