The Panthers return from their bye week to face off against the Texans, as we see the 1st and 2nd overall picks pitted against each other. Both teams will be missing some starters as of the final injury report, however the Panthers will also be missing NCB Jeremy Chinn and OLB Yetur Gross-Matos, who were placed on injured/reserve this week. Let’s dive in.
Panthers Injury Report
- S Vonn Bell (quadriceps), WR Laviska Shenault Jr (ankle) - Out: The Panthers will once again be missing at least one of their starting safeties on Sunday, meaning Sam Franklin will once again be called on to start. At wide receiver, Shenault isn’t a starter, but he typically racks up a few catches and runs as an outlet for Bryce Young. The Panthers will likely miss those easy chunk plays from him, though Jonathan Mingo or Ihmir Smith-Marsette could get those opportunities in his stead.
- LB Frankie Luvu (hip), OLB Brian Burns (elbow), LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (illness), OT Taylor Moton (knee/rest), FS Xavier Woods (hamstring) - Questionable: While this list is alarming to say the least, it sounds like Frankie Luvu and Taylor Moton should play. Luvu told the media he expected to play and Moton being marked as “knee/rest” leads me to believe he will play. Xavier Woods managed a full practice on Friday however this hamstring injury did hold him out for a few weeks, so I think he is truly questionable. The same goes for Burns and Hill, as Burns apparently suffered an elbow injury during practice this week and Hill missed Friday with an illness. Hopefully they can both play, as this defense currently needs all the help it can get with their current injury issues.
- Gs Austin Corbett (knee), Calvin Throckmorton (calf), Chandler Zavala (neck), RB Miles Sanders (shoulder), TE Stephen Sullivan (illness) - No Injury Designation: The offense is about as healthy as its going to get this week, as Austin Corbett returning to the starting right guard position is a welcome sight for Bryce Young as a passer and for the running game. With Miles Sanders returning, hopefully the offense will lean a bit more on the rushing attack compared to previous weeks. Throckmorton will reportedly start at left guard but Zavala being back is also important for depth purposes. Sullivan will finally get some action for a tight end room that sees itself short-handed with Ian Thomas on IR.
Texans Injury Report
- DT Sheldon Rankins (knee), WR Robert Woods (foot), TE Brevin Jordan (foot) - Out: The Texans will be missing a pretty good starting DL in Rankins, which is certainly helpful for an offensive line starting Corbett for the first time all season and a back up left guard. On the Texans offense, Robert Woods being out is a big deal as the Panthers secondary is beat up and extremely thin right now. Nico Collins and Tank Dell will look to pick up the slack for the Texans.
- OT Tytus Howard (knee/hand), DT Hassan Ridgeway (calf), WR Xavier Hutchinson (foot) - Questionable: Tytus Howard appears to be on track to play as the starting right tackle, as he logged two full practices this week. Hutchinson is buried on the WR depth chart and Ridgeway isn’t listed on the Texans depth chart, so whether they play or not is likely of little consequence.
- OT Laremy Tunsil (knee), WR Tank Dell (concussion), MLB Denzel Perryman (hand), LB Blake Cashman (wrist), OT Josh Jones (hand), CB Tavierre Thomas (hand) - No Injury Designation: On the other side of the line, Tunsil is ready to go at left tackle, so the Texans offensive line is mostly healthy after a spat of injuries early in the season. Tank Dell cleared concussion protocol and shapes up to be the Texans WR1 on Sunday, and Perryman will join fellow starter Cashman in the starting lineup for a #revengegame as the Panthers traded him for a 6th round selection prior to the 2021 season.
Are you excited, Panthers fans?