In the second installment of this series, these are the major storylines following the Carolina Panthers as they host the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.
While the official result of a loss for the Carolina Panthers came last Sunday at the Atlanta Falcons, it feels as if that was just the first defeat of a few this week. Despite a wave of optimism and intrigue following the team down to Georgia, they returned to Charlotte with a 10-24 outcome and a 0-1 record to start the campaign.
First game blues aren’t unfamiliar for Frank Reich, who has now seen his opening day record as head coach in the NFL faulter to 0-5-1. Looking at those prior seasons as a predictor, we may have some more bumps in the road before reaching smoother asphalt.
The news breaking throughout the week didn’t do much in the way of quelling anyone’s trepidations. The team announced that Brady Christensen suffered a bicep injury and would be placed on the injured/reserve list. Mere hours later, Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer confirmed that he would miss the entire 2023 season.
Already without starting right guard Austin Corbett as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL sustained in the final game of the 2022 season, this offensive line unit is being mightily tested entering just the second week of play.
It’s not a competition, so I’m not going to insinuate this next injury may be ‘bigger’ than Christensen’s, but the defense was hit with a power punch when the team announced Jaycee Horn had suffered a serious hamstring injury and is expected to miss “an extended period of time”, according to Reich.
After any game, there is much work to be done in the short turnaround before the next opponent. These types of obstacles certainly don’t do a young, still gelling, football team any favors.
Luckily (I guess?) for the Panthers, they get an extra day tacked on for the work. Let’s call it an inconvenience tax, for fun.
Here are the three major storylines heading into the Week 2 matchup with the New Orleans Saints (1-0) on Monday night at Bank of America Stadium.