Panthers Win the Game, But Suffer Losses
The Carolina Panthers had a Thursday night of good news and bad news.
The good news: The Panthers beat the Houston Texans, 24-9, and are now 3-0. The bad news: running back Christian McCaffrey left the game with a strained hamstring, while Carolina’s 2021 first-round draft pick, CB Jaycee Horn, left the game with a broken right foot.
On Friday, Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule said that McCaffrey will miss at least a few weeks and that injured reserve has not been ruled out. This is a big blow for Carolina, but after Thursday’s game, left tack Cameron Irving said, “We’re a football team. We’re not the Carolina Christian McCaffreys.” Fair point, but still.
Boasting the league’s top-ranked defense, the Panthers held Texans’ QB Davis Mills to 168 yards passing and sacked him four times, while holding Houston to 42 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, quarterback Sam Darnold, formerly of the New York Jets, is under center for an undefeated football team, because of course.
Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns
Guess whose back? Back again? Odell’s back. Tell a friend. And by friend, tell quarterback Baker Mayfield, his wide receiver is back. Beckham will return for the Browns against the Chicago Bears on Sunday for the first time since tearing his ACL last October.
The Browns had a Week 2 scare when Mayfield appeared to have injured his shoulder, while attempting a post-interception tackle. His shoulder popped out, but it got popped back in and Baker was back. That sounds painful. That being said, it looks as if the QB will be under center in Week 3, when the Browns host the Bears.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry went on IR this week with a sprained MCL and will miss at least three games.
Wild Card Monday
The NFL’s wild-card weekend just became wild-card weekend +1, with the league announcing Friday that one of its six first-round playoff matchups will be played Monday, January 17.
It’s only Week 3 and I don’t want to get too far ahead, BUT the wild-card weekend schedule is now as follows:
Saturday, Jan. 15
Game 1: 4:35 p.m. ET/ 1:35 pm PT
Game 2: 8:15 p.m. ET/ 5:15 PT
Sunday, Jan. 16
Game 1: 1:05 p.m. ET /10:05 a.m. PT
Game 2: 4:40 p.m. ET/1:40 p.m. PT
Game 3: 8:15 p.m. ET/ 5:15 p.m. PT
Monday, Jan. 17
Game 1: 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. ET
It looks like wide receiver Josh Gordon will be returning to the NFL, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the league told Gordon that he is being reinstated and is expected to be eligible to play Week 4.
Gordon, who was suspended indefinitely in December 2019 for violating the NFL’s policies on substance abuse and performance-enhancing substances, submitted his reinstatement letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this past July. The wide receiver has been conditionally reinstated last December, but that was rescinded in January.
The Indianapolis Colts and QB1 Carson Wentz may just have a reason to smile.
After leaving the Colts’ Week 2 loss with injuries to both ankles, Wentz had not practiced all week as Indy prepares for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. However, Wentz was back on the practice field Friday, so things are looking up.
Head coach Frank Reich said that Wentz will most likely be a game-time decision (much like how I live my life, but I digress), but reports out of practice say that the QB was moving well.
“I’m very surprised that we’re even at this point to be honest with you,” Reich said.
Kickoff between the 0-2 Colts and the 1-1 Titans is Sunday at 1 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT.