Oct 24, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Carolina Panthers guard John Miller (67) is carted off the field after being injured at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers put OL John Miller (ankle) on IR

The Carolina Panthers placed starting right guard John Miller on injured reserve Tuesday with an ankle injury.

Miller, 28, started the past six games after missing Week 1 on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He’ll have to miss at least three games.

The Panthers also waived punter Ryan Winslow.

Miller was injured in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. He had to be carted to the locker room. He has started all 80 games he has played in for Buffalo (2015-18), Cincinnati (2019) and the Panthers.

The Panthers also released kicker Dominik Eberle from their practice squad and signed punter Lachlan Edwards to the 16-player squad. Edwards could be elevated to punt for the Panthers (3-4) in their Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons (3-3).

Winslow was averaging 38.6 yards per punt in two games with Carolina.

–Field Level Media

Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold was sacked by Jeremy Chinn of Carolina in the first half as the Carolina Panthers faced the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on October 24, 2021.

The Carolina Panthers Faced The New York Giants At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On October 24 2021

Reports: Sam Darnold still Panthers’ starter; Deshaun Watson talk revs up

After Sam Darnold’s benching in the Carolina Panthers’ 25-3 loss to the host New York Giants on Sunday, the fourth-year quarterback heard both good and bad news about his potential future as the starter.

On the one hand, Panthers coach Matt Rhule told reporters, “Sam will be our quarterback next week. He will be our quarterback moving forward.”

However, a report from The Athletic on Sunday indicated that the Panthers are now expected to engage in trade talks with the Houston Texans for embattled star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Darnold went 16 of 25 passing for 111 yards and an interception against the Giants on Sunday. In seven starts this season, the third overall pick of the New York Jets in 2018, is 153 of 249 passing (61.4 percent) for 1,684 yards for seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

“I can’t look to the future, but I don’t believe it will (change the team’s approach to the trade deadline),” Rhule said, regarding Sunday’s outcome, according to The Athletic.

“Everybody’s disappointed right now. There’s emotions flying around, all those things. But you saw the game, it wasn’t very good in any regard,” Rhule said.

The Panthers (3-4) lost their fourth straight game after winning their first three games.

Previously, the Panthers were showing no interest publicly or privately in trying to land Watson, according to The Athletic.

Watson has not played this season. He is facing nearly two dozen civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, and 10 criminal complaints have been file against him. He has maintained his innocence to all of the accusations.

In four NFL seasons, all with the Texans, Watson has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards with 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He also has rushed for 1,677 yards and 17 touchdowns.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins are believed to be interested in trying to acquire Watson before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.

The Panthers visit the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Kyle Rudolph of the Giants steps out of bounds and the TD was called back in the first half as the Carolina Panthers faced the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on October 24, 2021.

The Carolina Panthers Faced The New York Giants At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On October 24 2021

Giants stifle Panthers in impressive win

Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass and the New York Giants let their defense do the heavy lifting in a 25-3 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at East Rutherford, N.J.

Former Panthers kicker Graham Gano made field goals from 49, 53 and 44 yards for the Giants (2-5), who won at home for the first time in four tries this season.

The Panthers (3-4), who’ve lost four games in a row, were held to 173 yards of total offense.

Jones threw for 203 yards on 23-for-33 passing.

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold was 16 of 25 for 111 yards and an interception. Darnold, who was playing in the stadium where he started 19 games for the New York Jets before an offseason trade to Carolina, was pulled after three quarters in favor of PJ Walker, who was 3-of-14 passing for 33 yards.

The Panthers turned the ball over on downs at their own 19-yard line with less than five minutes left and trailing 18-3. On the next play, Devontae Booker ran 19 yards for a New York touchdown.

The first touchdown in the game occurred with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Jones, who was competing against his hometown team for the first time, connected with Dante Pettis for a 5-yard touchdown play to give the Giants a 12-3 edge. That 11-play, 75-yard drive included Jones making a nifty catch for a 16-yard gain on a trick play, with Pettis, a receiver, throwing the pass.

After reaching the New York 15 in the second quarter, a holding penalty was followed by ex-Carolina defensive back James Bradberry picking off Darnold. The Giants didn’t convert, leaving them ahead 5-3 at halftime.

The teams combined for 17 first downs and 278 yards of total offense in the first half.

The Panthers scored first when Zane Gonzalez’s kick banked in off the left upright for a 45-yard field goal to cap the game’s opening possession.

The big moment in the first quarter for Carolina’s defense came as the Panthers stopped the Giants short of the goal line on four consecutive plays from the 2-yard line or closer.

Yet it wasn’t a lost cause for the Giants because three plays later Darnold was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone. That resulted in a safety for New York.

The Giants went ahead on former Gano’s 49-yard field goal on the ensuing possession.

–Field Level Media

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) throws near  Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy (98) trying to get by Pitt offensive lineman Marcus Minor (55)  during the second quarter at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Saturday, October 23, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Pitt

Kenny Pickett, No. 23 Pitt give Clemson its third loss

Kenny Pickett passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns as No. 23 Pitt knocked off Clemson 27-17 Saturday afternoon at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.

Pitt (6-1, 3-0 ACC), off to its best start since 2015, snapped a two-game losing streak against the Tigers, who had outscored the Panthers 94-27 in those games.

Clemson (4-3, 3-2) suffered a third regular-season defeat for the first time since the 2014 season.

Pickett guided Pitt to 464 yards, the most Clemson’s defense has surrendered this season. The Tigers entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense at 12.5 points per game, but the Panthers’ 27 points also matched the most the Tigers had given up this season.

Clemson’s offense continued to struggle, scoring 21 points or less for a fifth consecutive game.

It was a particularly long day for Clemson sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who completed 12-of-25 passes for 128 yards and two interceptions.

Pickett completed 25-of-39 passes and avenged a 52-17 loss at Clemson last season in which he was intercepted four times.

The loss was Clemson’s first by 10 points or more in ACC play since 2014.

Clemson grabbed a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, capping an 80-yard drive with a one-yard scoring run by freshman running back Phil Mafah.

But Pitt scored two touchdowns in the final 3:18 of the second quarter to take a 14-7 halftime lead. Pickett connected with Jordan Addison for a 23-yard touchdown, then found Taysir Mack all alone behind the Clemson defense for a 39-yard touchdown. Addison’s touchdown catch was his 10th of the season.

The Panthers extended their lead early in the third quarter when SirVocea Dennis intercepted a shovel pass by Uiagalelei and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.

Taisun Phommachanh replaced Uiagalelei at quarterback and promptly guided the Tigers to a 42-yard field goal by B.T. Potter, but Pitt’s Sam Scarton responded with field goals from 44 and 34 yards to push the Panthers to a 27-10 lead.

Uiagalelei re-entered the game and scored on a six-yard run with 7:56 remaining, but that was the Tigers’ final threat.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) rushes against Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Cameron Erving (75) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers LT Cameron Erving ruled out vs. Giants

The Carolina Panthers announced left tackle Cameron Erving will not travel with the team and has been ruled out of Sunday’s road game against the New York Giants.

Rookie Brady Christensen will start at left tackle in place of Erving, who was added to the injury report Thursday with an ailing neck. Erving did not participate in Friday’s walk-through due to illness.

Erving, 29, has appeared in 80 games (52 starts) with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Panthers.

Christensen, 25, has appeared in six games (one start) since being selected by Carolina in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Panthers (3-3) will attempt to snap a three-game losing skid Sunday against the Giants (1-5) in East Rutherford, N.J.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers safety Kenny Robinson (27) picks up a block punt and returns it for a toudhdown in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Scuffling Panthers shifting gears on offense against Giants

The Carolina Panthers have pointed out their designs on making changes after being pushed around too much in recent games.

The New York Giants need to change their formula as well.

So whatever team adapts best to any new tweaks might be in the best position for success when the Panthers and Giants meet Sunday afternoon in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We’re going to redefine who we are,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “We’re going to run the football, and we’re going to protect our quarterback.”

The Panthers (3-3) are on a three-game skid, losing their past two at home. They’re 0-2 against NFC East members.

To avoid another slip-up against a team from that division, Carolina will have to figure out quite a few things on offense. That could boost a defense that might be getting worn down late in some games.

The Panthers had less than 27 minutes of possession time in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings, so that might have been part of Rhule’s concern.

The Giants (1-5) have given coach Joe Judge lots to assess as they try to get something going.

“Guys have to step up. Guys have to make plays,” Judge said. “You have to understand how you have to play. We have to understand our players as coaches as to how to use them.”

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold had a strong start to the season, but his performance has faded drastically the past couple of weeks.

Rhule said a philosophy adjustment on offense is needed. It sure sounds as if he doesn’t intend for the Panthers to have such a wide-open approach.

“That’s going to change — I can tell you right now,” Rhule said. “You’ll see a vastly different look from us moving forward. We’re not going to line up and drop back and throw it 40 times a game and think that’s going to win the game for us.”

Carolina will remain without injured running back Christian McCaffrey. But Rhule said rookie Chuba Hubbard, who has 281 rushing yards this season, has shown the ability to pick up crucial yards.

While Darnold has received attention this year based on a few running plays for touchdowns, it’s Giants quarterback Daniel Jones who has been a more accomplished ballcarrier. In the past two-plus seasons, he’s the third-leading quarterback in the NFL in rushing yards with 903.

Both quarterbacks have interesting backgrounds regarding this matchup.

Jones will compete against his hometown team. He grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and then played college ball at Duke.

Darnold goes back to the stadium that was his home venue when he played with the New York Jets before the trade to Carolina during the offseason. This will be his 20th career start at MetLife Stadium.

There’s the notion that the Panthers haven’t been tough enough. It’s something that has been emphasized.

“Playing more physical,” Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn said of the solution.

New York has similar issues on defense.

“It just hasn’t been acceptable, and I’m going to do everything I can to try to change that and make that better one step at a time,” Giants safety Logan Ryan said.

The Giants are awaiting word on the status of running back Saquon Barkley’s ankle injury.

“No hard timelines,” Judge said in regard to Barkley. “Obviously, we want to have him back as soon as possible.”

Devontae Booker has been filling in.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore could be in the Carolina lineup as he works into playing shape after arriving in a trade from the New England Patriots.

Ex-Carolina kicker Graham Gano is with the Giants, perhaps a rough reminder for Panthers fans about the consistency the team once had in the kicking game. Former Panthers cornerback James Bradberry is coming off a solid outing in the Giants’ secondary.

The Panthers have won six of 10 all-time meetings, including the most recent clash, 33-31 in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins, Vikings down Panthers in overtime

Kirk Cousins threw 27 yards to K.J. Osborn on the first possession of overtime as the visiting Minnesota Vikings defeated the Carolina Panthers 34-28 in a mistake-filled game Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.

Cousins threw three touchdown passes and Dalvin Cook returned to action by rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Cousins went 33-for-48 for 373 yards through the air.

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold was 17-for-41 for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Carolina forced overtime by driving 96 yards, scoring on Darnold’s 7-yard pass to Robby Anderson and converting a two-point conversion pass with 42 seconds left.

The Vikings scored two touchdowns in a two-minute span of the third quarter for a 25-17 lead.

The first of those came on Cook’s 16-yard touchdown run. Four plays after a Carolina fumble, the Vikings converted on Cousins’ third-and-goal pass of 5 yards to Adam Thielen, who made a diving catch on the side of the end zone.

On Minnesota’s next possession, it drove 63 yards for Greg Joseph’s 38-yard field goal with 10:19 remaining. A missed field goal from 50 yards three minutes left the lead at 28-17.

The Panthers ended up with Zane Gonzalez’s 23-yard field goal at the 4:44 mark.

Carolina got the ball back at its own 4-yard line with 2:18 left.

The Panthers did little on offense, but they were up 17-12 after Frankie Luvu blocked a punt and Kenny Robinson returned the ball 4 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.

Carolina had a total of 68 yards on its first four possessions of the second half. Two of those sequences ended in turnovers.

The Vikings had Cook back after he missed time with an ankle injury. Carolina, though, was again without running back Christian McCaffrey, who has missed three straight games and won’t be eligible to return until November since being placed on injured reserve.

The first points for each team came following turnovers.

The Vikings settled for two field goals — both from 25 yards out by Joseph — in the first quarter. This was despite taking over at the Carolina 22-yard line after Bashaud Breeland intercepted Darnold’s pass on the first snap of the game.

The Panthers took better advantage of Justin Jefferson’s fumble and Haason Reddick’s 22-yard return, converting for a touchdown two plays later on Chuba Hubbard’s 2-yard run.

The Vikings reached the end zone on a nine-play drive, with Cousins connecting with Chris Herndon for a 2-yard scoring play.

Gonzalez booted a 47-yard field goal for Carolina later in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) comes on to the field before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) out vs. Vikings

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings because of a lingering hamstring injury, the team announced Friday.

McCaffrey was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and did not practice Thursday or Friday for the Panthers (3-2).

McCaffrey registered limited practices last week as he tries to work his way back from the injury he sustained during Carolina’s 24-9 victory over the Houston Texans on Sept. 23.

An All-Pro, McCaffrey, 25, has 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown to go along with 16 receptions for 163 yards in three games this season. He played only three games in 2020 due to a high ankle sprain and a shoulder injury.

Rookie Chuba Hubbard has been starting in his absence and ran for 101 yards last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Panthers also said linebackers Shaq Thompson (foot) and Kamal Martin (concussion) won’t play Sunday.

For the Vikings (2-3), tight end Ben Ellefson (knee) and defensive tackle Michael Pierce (elbow) are out.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) stretches before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) misses practice

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did not practice Thursday, dousing optimism that he’ll be able to return this Sunday from a hamstring injury.

McCaffrey was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, with Panthers head coach Matt Rhule saying the All-Pro running back was 50-50 to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings (2-3). Rhule added McCaffrey’s availability was dependent on how his hamstring responded each day.

Rhule doesn’t speak with the media on Thursdays.

“We come in after every game, and you don’t know if this guy’s going to play or how much this guy is going to be able to go. It’s part of the profession,” offensive coordinator Joe Brady said Thursday. “We have to be ready, and everybody has to be ready, and we have to be ready for certain people to be down.”

McCaffrey registered limited practices last week as he works his way back from the injury he sustained during Carolina’s 24-9 victory over the Houston Texans on Sept. 23.

McCaffrey, 25, has 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown to go along with 16 receptions for 163 yards in three games this season. He played only three games in 2020 due to a high ankle sprain and a shoulder injury.

Shaq Thompson didn’t practice but was at practice without a walking boot after suffering a foot injury in Week 4 against Dallas. He will miss his second consecutive game Sunday.

The Panthers are 3-2 but have lost two straight.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers linebacker Jeremy Chinn (21) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Scuffling Panthers draw red-hot Vikings defense

The Minnesota Vikings have come to count on their defense early in the season.

That might be a message to the Carolina Panthers to crank up the offense a few notches when the teams collide Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.

The feel-good moments for the Panthers have vanished, particularly after squandering a late-game lead in last week’s loss to Philadelphia.

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold has struggled the past two games and the Vikings (2-3) might be a tough foe against whom to get back on track. He has been sacked eight times and thrown five interceptions in Carolina’s two losses.

“We’ve got to coach it better, play better,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said, noting shortcomings along the offensive line. “We have to do a better job of protecting Sam.”

Minnesota’s defense has given up just one passing touchdown over the past three games combined.

The Panthers (3-2) began the season with a three-game winning streak, but there were few signs of that level of play for much of the past two games.

“I think this week will really define who we are,” Rhule said.

The Vikings are aiming to reach a .500 mark before an open week on the schedule.

“I think it would be a good milestone for us to get to there,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “If we can just continue to improve, we’ll win our share of games.”

Zimmer said he’s encouraged by the approach from quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has become more vocal.

Cousins knows the Panthers can be tough to throw against. They’re allowing just 161.6 yards per game in the air, tops in the NFL.

“A really good defense,” Cousins said. “They challenged us last year.”

The Vikings won 28-27 against Carolina last November at home.

Minnesota has used more three-wide set-ups on offense this season, something that Cousins said can offer more variety.

“So much of it is situationally based,” Cousins said. “You try to study every situation of how will they defend us or play against us.”

A mixture of pass formations could prove even more invaluable against the Panthers, who’ve dealt with injuries and significant personnel changes in the secondary the past few weeks. It’s unclear if Carolina newcomer CJ Henderson, a cornerback, will be available.

Minnesota, which has dropped both of its road outings, managed just one touchdown in last week’s 19-17 home victory against Detroit. The outcome was determined on Greg Joseph’s last-second 54-yard field goal.

That helped soothe some of the shortcomings for Minnesota.

“It’s all fixable. We just got to clean it up,” Zimmer said. “We need to be focused again.”

Both teams are waiting on the status of standout running backs. Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook has missed two games, including last week, with an ankle injury. Alexander Mattison has been filling in for Cook.

“They’re not going to put me out there if they feel I’m a liability,” Cook said Wednesday.

Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey has been out for two games because of a hamstring injury, but could be ready for action against Minnesota, Rhule said. He has practiced on a limited basis early this week.

Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard gained 101 yards on 24 carries in the Philadelphia game.

“I think he’ll be a tremendous complement whenever Christian is back with us,” Rhule said.

The Vikings are 9-6 all-time against Carolina, but just 2-3 in five previous trips to Charlotte.

–Field Level Media