Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly practice in full Friday and is on track to play Sunday against the Chargers, "barring a last-minute setback in the concussion protocol," according to ESPN's David Newton. Kuechly, S Kurt Coleman and CB Daryl Worley were all reportedly due to meet with the medical staff after putting in a full practice Friday, and then meet again early Saturday for final clearance. We'll watch the status for all 3 players, all of whom sit well within starter territory at their positions in our Week 14 rankings.
The Panthers are hiring Ejiro Evero as DC, according to multiple reports. In his 1st year as Broncos DC, Evero earned widespread praise. He piloted a unit that ranked 7th in yards allowed, 14th in points allowed and 10th in Football Outsiders' DVOA. Denver likely would have ranked even better but traded EDGE Bradley Chubb during the season and lost S Justin Simmons to injury for 5 games (among other injuries). Evero -- who has been on NFL staffs since 2007, except for 1 year spent at the D-III level -- impressed enough to draw head-coaching interviews this offseason. He'll take over a Panthers defense with some talented pieces. Chief among those are EDGE Brian Burns, S Jeremy Chinn, CB Jaycee Horn and DT Derrick Brown. Don't be surprised if the Carolina defense becomes more of a fantasy football factor in 2023.
The Panthers on Saturday activated DE Brian Burns and LB Shaq Thompson from the COVID list. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports both will play Sunday against the Saints.
Panthers CB Rasul Douglas (ankle) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Lions. He landed on the injury report as a limited participant Friday after opening the week not listed. We'll check his status Sunday. The team will likely miss CB Donte Jackson (toe), who is doubtful.
Panthers CB Donte Jackson is active for today's game against the Saints. He entered the day questionable with a toe injury and still makes for a risky, low-floor IDP play. Carolina will be missing CB Rasul Douglas, who is on the COVID list. Troy Pride Jr. will start in his place. That can only help a matchup that was already positive for Saints receivers.
The Panthers have ruled DT Kawann Short (foot) and DE Yetur Gross-Matos (concussion) out for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers. That can only help the matchup for QB Tom Brady and the rest of the Bucs offense.
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