Report: Brian Burns pushing to play at Washington

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns could be involved for the Carolina Panthers in Week 16.

The Carolina Panthers might have their best pass-rushing option available at the Washington Football Team in Week 16 after all. There appeared some doubt as to whether Brian Burns would take his place in the lineup thanks to a knee problem suffered late at the Green Bay Packers. But there are reports surfacing regarding the player pushing to be involved.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Burns could be a surprise inclusion for the Carolina Panthers at FedEx Field, providing he proves to the coaching staff that there won’t be any lingering complications.

This would be a huge surprise after defensive coordinator Phil Snow all-but ruled out Burns on Thursday during his pre-game presser. Carolina has no doubt planned for the 2019 first-round pick not to be involved but if the player has his way, he will suit up.

The Carolina Panthers must be cautious with Brian Burns.

Even if Burns is active, it’s unlikely the former Florida State standout will generate the sort of snaps we’ve seen so far this season. The Panthers can be ultra-cautious with their most prolific player on defense with very little on the game from their perspective. So utilizing a strict snap count where the edge rusher is concerned will be crucial.

It’s not hard to see why Burns is clearly chomping at the bit to play. He was snubbed for the Pro Bowl this week in favor of Washington’s Chase Young despite some glaring stats to the contrary. And the player won’t want an injury to dampen what has been a season of immense production from a personal perspective.

Burns will no doubt try out his sore knee pregame and see just if and how he can be involved. This is something to keep a close eye on and would boost the Panthers’ chances of attaining their fifth win of the season a considerable amount coming up against their former head coach Ron Rivera in Washington.

It appears as if Carolina is willing to give Burns a chance to prove his fitness. But whether the second-year-pro can do this is another matter entirely.