The Panthers signed Mike Remmers off the Rams’ practice squad for depth at the offensive tackle position that has been hit hard by injury. The hardest hit came during the bye week when the Panthers were forced to put Nate Chandler on the injured reserve, which opened the door for Remmers to get his first NFL start.
Against the Vikings, he couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to his professional career by providing stability at the right tackle position that has been lacking all season. The former Oregon State Beaver played every snap in Week 13 and finished with an overall rating of 0.8, according to Pro Football Focus. He particularly excelled in pass blocking where he was given a grade of 2.6, the second highest in Week 13 among starting offensive tackles.
Hopefully, for Cam Newton’s sake, Remmers is able to play this well over the final four games of the season.
It was another week and another strong performance from running back Jonathan Stewart. However, once again Stewart did not get enough touches to have a real impact on the game. He finished the day with 12 carries for 85 yards (an impressive 7.1 yards per carry average) and two receptions for 25 yards.
It has been a rough season for the Panthers rushing attack but Stewart is clearly the team’s best back right now. The coaching staff though has not been able to get him more than 12 carries in a game the past four weeks. That may all change with the news of DeAngelo Williams having a fractured finger.
The big news aside from Williams’ injury was the release of cornerback Antoine Cason on Tuesday. This created a roster spot for practice squad player Carrington Byndom. The rookie Byndom is now basically in a four week tryout for one of the starting cornerback jobs in 2015.
Byndom had a lot of playing experience at the University of Texas appearing in 51 games and starting every game over his final three years in college. The Panthers are moving towards a youth movement and the team must have a lot of faith in him to release Cason. This will be an interesting storyline over the final quarter of the season.
While one tackle is on the rise, another is falling. Left tackle Byron Bell continues to struggle at the position giving up two sacks and three quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. That brings his total up to five sacks and 15 quarterback hurries given up the past four games.
The rookies like Byndom aren’t the only ones on a tryout, as Bell could also find himself fighting for his job with the Panthers. He is currently on a one-year contract with the team and while it is unlikely he would be cut, the front office is going to have to take a good long look at Bell to see if he is worth re-signing this offseason.
The Panthers running back is having an awful year with his performance on the field and his inability to stay healthy. Williams has only been able to play in six games this year and is averaging 36.5 rushing yards per game. If he is forced to miss the remainder of the season, he will finish the year with career lows in yards per carry (3.5) and touchdowns (0). This will also mark the fifth straight year he was not able to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards.
The free safety joined the Panthers this past offseason after spending his first six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran has struggled in his time with the Panthers and was replaced by rookie Tre Boston this past week against Minnesota.
DeCoud has particularly struggled in pass protection allowing seven reception on nine targets the past three weeks and gave up three touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. It remains to be seen if Boston is the better player right now over DeCoud. However it does not seem like the veteran safety is part of the team’s long term plans and it is more important now to evaluate the younger players with the season basically lost.