With Devin Funchess missing his second straight day of practice, his status for Sunday against the Seahawks is officially in doubt and with Torrey Smith still practicing on a limited basis, the Panthers may be missing their top two wide receivers heading into a key matchup that may determine their playoff standings with the Panthers three games behind the Saints for the NFC South lead and the Seahawks only a game back from the Panthers – a win would give the Seahawks the head-to-head tiebreaker and move them ahead of the Panthers.
While Funchess has played 83.4% of the WR snaps thus far, with Smith missing the past four games, rookie DJ Moore has stepped into his place to take over 70% of the snaps in each matchup since Smith injured his knee against Philadelphia in Week 7, putting doubters to rest with his seven-catch, 157-yard and a late touchdown performance last week in Detroit. The other wideout who may alleviate the pain of Funchess and Smith missing on Sunday is Curtis Samuel, who has put on a show since debuting in Week 5 as he has racked up five touchdowns in only 21 touches this season and hasn’t eclipsed 40% of the snaps in any matchup.
Fans have been clamoring for more Samuel – and they may get it on Sunday.
“We’re working constantly since he came back from having the issues with his heart and his surgery, we’re working at expanding his role, giving him reps at different spots, giving him opportunities to go make plays,” Norv Turner told the media. “He’s certainly responding, so we want to use him as much as he can. That’s our intention and that’s what we’ll do.”
The final injury report of the week will be released tomorrow after the Panthers practice, with Smith looking more likely to get the nod then Funchess.
“Torrey had a good day; looked good, moved well, showed some speed also, which was really good to see,” head coach Ron Rivera said to the assembled media after practice Thursday. “So we’ll see how he’s coming along, and if Devin can’t play and Torrey’s ready to roll, it’ll help take the sting out of it.”
The full injury report is below:
|Cam Newton||Right Shoulder||Limited||"The New Normal"|