2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
0:40

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton can see improvement in second-year running back Christian McCaffrey every day. He expects big things out of last year's first-round draft pick but says it's up to him to get McCaffrey the ball in the right position so he can do something with it.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers left tackle Matt Kalil worked inside for an injury/vet day, coach Ron Rivera said. Rivera would not elaborate on the injury, but did say it is not something he would anticipate is long-term. “We're just trying to take care of him, give him a little rest,'' Rivera said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Taylor Moton getting first-team reps at left tackle for Panthers with Matt Kalil not hère. Kalil allowed two sacks in Friday's preseason win against Miami. Jeremiah Sirles opened at right tackle for Moton. Depth at line getting to be a concern.

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

The Eagles are the best team in the NFL, per ESPN's Football Power Index. Changes to the vig on Philadelphia's season win total earlier this offseason bumped the defending champs over New England. However, the Patriots (17%) and Steelers (13%) remain more likely to win the Super Bowl than the Eagles (13%) because there are fewer contenders in the AFC. Note: these numbers were run before AJ McCarron's injury, which will affect the Bills' rating.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers looking for practice depth at tight end signed undrafted rookie Jason Reese and waived/injured wide receiver Fred Ross. Tight end Chris Manhertz remains on PUP. Reese played at Missouri where he finished with 29 receptions for 369 yards and five touchdowns.

0:33

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Cam Newton said he could have been better even though he compete 75 percent of his passes against Miami. Said he left ‘'some meat on the bone.'' But Newton couldn't have been better on his final attempt, a 27-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Ian Thomas. As Newton noted, it will help him sleep better.

0:17

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton didn't address his pregame confrontation with Kelvin Benjamin last week at Buffalo and he didn't want to address it tonight, saying it was a ‘'lose-lose'' and ‘'I wish him the best.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The first-team offense still has some work to do, particularly in pass protection after giving up two sacks against Miami. But Cam Newton, with a 58.5 career completion percentage, is showing he can be more efficient in Norv Turner's offense and Christian McCaffrey is showing he can run between the tackles (see 71-yard touchdown run). Newton completed 75 percent of his attempts (9 of 12 for 89 yards and a touchdown) in five series on Friday night as the Panthers improved to 2-0. He has completed 71.4 percent in two preseason games.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Two of last year's draft class that were plagued by injuries as rookies are making big contributions in the preseason. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel has two caches for 65 yards and cornerback Corn Elder has a pick.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

New Panthers owner David Tepper spent time drinking beer and hanging with fans prior to Friday's preseason game against Miami. He appeared at halftime on the team broadcast. His best answer came when asked what his vision for the organization is: “I have only one vision. That's to win. It's not a hard vision. What we've got to do is every way we can increase the probability of winning, that's what we've got to do – whether it's an indoor practice facility at some point where we don't have to practice in a sleet storm before playoff games, whatever increases that probability a percentage. It's a game of inches. So I'd like to get that extra couple of inches.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey on his 71-yard touchdown run in the first half: "I saw a heck of a gap. The offensive line did a great job. I think it was [Greg] Van Roten on a pull from the left guard. . . . It's just my job to hit the hole, find the crease and go. It was a great play.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Cam Newton has completed 75 percent of his passes (9 of 12) for 89 yards and a touchdown. He continues his quest to get his completion percentage into the 65 to 70 percent range under offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Newton also has a bad pick, and has been sacked twice. The second was totally unavoidable as left tackle Matt Kalil was beaten badly.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Rookie tight end Ian Thomas has been making a huge impression in training camp with his route running and fluidity as a receiver. He just made a huge impression with a 27-yard touchdown catch on third-and-3. The Panthers have two legit receiving tight ends now in Greg Olsen and Thomas. Newton hasn't had that the past few years.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers' safety Da'Norris Searcy is in the concussion protocol after illegal hit was called near the sideline in the first quarter. Rookie Rashaan Gaulden held his own as Searcy's replacement and should get a lot of work with the first team in practice next week.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers safety Da'Norris Searcy penalized 15 yards for lowering his head on a hit on the boundary. Ron Rivera is talking to the officials. Searcy appeared to hurt himself on the play and is headed for the tent to evaluation. Not sure if for possible. concussion. Looked like he came in with his shoulder but head took part of the blow. Judgment call by officials that players are having to learn this season.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Lot of talk from Panthers coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Norv Turner about running back Christian McCaffrey getting 25 to 30 touches a game this season. He had the first two against the Dolphins, catching a pass for 9 yards and then going 71 yards off right tackle for a touchdown. Fantasy owners pay attention.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Judging by the pictures on social media new Panthers owner David Tepper is enjoying tailgating and hanging with the fans. Also appears to be enjoying an adult beverage and blending right in with shorts, a short-sleeved Panthers logo shirt and Panthers cap.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers cornerback LaDarius Gunter has passed the concussion protocol. Big night for corners in general with rookie Donte Jackson getting the start opposite James Bradberry, who was held out of last week's game at Buffalo. Kevon Seymour looking to bounce back from a rough game against the Bills.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Taylor Heinicke is battling Garrett Gilbert to be Cam Newton's backup at Carolina and Friday night's preseason game against Miami is going to be big for the former Old Dominion star. But Heinicke isn't trying to be the next Newton even though he is nifty on his feet. He emulates Seattle's Russell Wilson, like him a short quarterback.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was worried at one point last season that the team overloaded then-rookie running back Christian McCaffrey. With the additional talent on offense this season Rivera does t have that concern. He wants to get back to the 2015 offense when quarterback Cam Newton distributed the ball to multiple receivers so McCaffrey doesn't have to carry the passing game as he did a year ago with a team-high 80 catches.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, 38, continues to work on the side even though he has been off PUP for a week. No timetable has been given for when he will take reps in practice. Coach Ron Rivera already has said he doesn't plan to use Peppers in preseason games. He doesn't really need them.

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