Carolina Panthers: Time to start quarterback Will Grier is now

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Will Grier
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Will Grier /

Carolina Panthers quarterback Will Grier should start next week.

The Carolina Panthers turned to backup Kyle Allen after starting quarterback Cam Newton was injured. Allen responded by not turning the football over and proving he could lead an NFL team to victory. In fact, the Panthers won four straight before being dismantled by a then, undefeated, San Francisco 49ers team.

Throwing three interceptions, Carolina lost 51-13 beginning a trend of picks and poor play leading to four losses in their last five games. The latest, a heartbreaking divisional defeat in New Orleans essentially puts Carolina out of playoff contention being three games back of a wild card and four out of the division.

In 10 career starts Allen has proven to be a capable NFL backup who can make a variety of throws. A few teams may even prefer to have him as their starter and given his contract expires this season, they may get an opportunity. However, no one knows exactly what rookie quarterback Will Grier is capable of doing in regular season play.

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Grier struggled at times during the preseason but has had nearly a full year of practice and coaching. Given the uncertain future of Newton, it would benefit Carolina to see exactly what they have with Grier, this year’s third-round pick. An upcoming home game against Washington presents a great opportunity for the rookie to register his first NFL start.

While Newton should return in 2020, it is a safe bet that Allen is going to require more than his current two-year, roughly $1 million to also be back. If Grier isn’t suited to be a reliable backup or even a potential developmental talent, then addressing the position either via free agency or next year’s draft needs to be determined.

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A no pressure, nothing to lose few weeks of regular season play should be just enough to provide an answer.