There is optimism Cam Newton will be ready for the opener against the Los Angeles Rams after suffering a mild mid-foot sprain in Thursday’s preseason loss to the New England Patriots. That was the good news for the Carolina Panthers, but there’s still reason to be concerned about the quarterbacks.
Backups Kyle Allen and Will Grier have yet to prove they’re capable of playing at a consistent level should Newton miss time.
Allen, undrafted out of Houston last season, has completed 50% of his preseason attempts in Norv Turner’s offense, which is designed to be heavy on high-percentage passes. He has 124 yards and no touchdowns.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
Grier, a Charlotte native and a third-round pick out of West Virginia in April, hasn’t been much better at 53.5% for 196 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.
Between them, they have one NFL start: Allen in last season’s finale, when the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints rested most of their starters. Allen and Grier also have two of the four lowest yards per attempt of any quarterbacks during the preseason, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Allen is averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and Grier 4.6.
The loss to the Patriots magnified how inefficient Allen and Grier — and the offense in general — have been during three preseason games. The Panthers had only two first downs and 29 total yards in the first half, and finished with seven first downs and 99 total yards.
The struggles of the offensive line complicate matters. This rebuilt group, led by free-agent center Matt Paradis replacing retired-and-then-unretired Ryan Kalil (now with the Jets), has several veterans.
Yet so far they haven’t developed the chemistry to allow any of the quarterbacks to work efficiently. Newton was sacked twice in three series, the second resulting in the injury, and had to throw away another pass while scrambling to avoid a sack.
The coaching staff can work on correcting mistakes, but getting Allen or Grier to perform at a high enough level to win — should Newton’s ankle force him to miss the opener or any other game — is another story.cheap nfl jerseys china nike
An argument can be made that it’s time to bring in a veteran, but there aren’t a lot of great options.