Carolina Panthers rookie report from first preseason game at Colts

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble /
1 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

How did the Carolina Panthers rookies perform in their preseason debuts at the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday?

The Carolina Panthers concluded the first week of the NFL preseason, falling to the Indianapolis Colts 21-18 on a last-minute field goal.

Obviously, the outcome of this game doesn’t mean all that much, especially since head coach Matt Rhule decided not to play the starters on Sunday. While players like Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore don’t need preseason reps, it would’ve been nice for fans to see what the Panthers have in Sam Darnold in a game setting instead of training camp practices or scrimmages.

Nevertheless, this opportunity led to many rookies getting meaningful reps early in their careers. After all, this is what the preseason is for.

Unfortunately, those expecting to see first-round pick Jaycee Horn will have to wait one more week for him to make his preseason debut as he was one of the listed starters to not dress for the game.

This could’ve been an important contest for the South Carolina product to make a statement that he was the right pick for the Panthers, especially after some of the players picked closely behind him had impressive showings in their respective games.

At the end of the day, Horn is still one of the top candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year and will have his moments this season to prove he deserved to be the first defensive prospect taken in this year’s draft.

For the rookies that did play against the Colts, there are plenty of reasons to get excited from their performances. For instance, the Panthers’ lone touchdown came off a five-play, 91-yard drive where every contribution was made by a rookie.

Here is an in-depth look at how the Panther rookies performed at Indianapolis.