Check that headline again. There are a number of things that question could apply to from the Carolina Panthers final preseason game.
First, just after warmups were over, coach John Fox decided to announce to his starters that they would have the night off. He said they weren’t exactly jumping up and down about the decision but that they respected it. They should. That would at least mean that none of them would be injured in a game that meant nothing to them.
Second, with the starters out, the backups had more playing time and could prove that they should be on the team’s final roster. Matt Moore played more than two quarters but was rather ineffective hitting on 15 of 27 passes for 164 yards and leading the team to two field goals in the first half. Worst of all, he took a hit in the third and was carted off the field.
The team says the injury is a deep bruise in his lower shin and ankle area. There is no word on how long he will be out of commission. This could change plans for the team since it was possible that third-stringer Brett Basanez would be turning in his playbook this weekend.
Third, some guys who needed to impress did and some didn’t. Decori Brimingham still looked good and had to make those with the power wonder if they should keep him around. He appears to be competing with Lebrandon Toefield for a roster spot. It was Samie Parker who didn’t exactly impress anyone attempting to do something for the first time – return kicks.
In a meaningless game, with nothing on the line, frankly the final score meant nothing. The Steelers beat the Panthers 19-16 with the clock winding down.
So, what’s the meaning of this? Well, the starters came out healthy, some backups had a chance to prove themselves and our backup quarterback might be on the shelf for a little while – all because of a game that, in the end, had no meaning.