The Carolina Panthers may host the Detroit Lions this Sunday without the services of their top two offensive weapons. Running back Christian McCaffrey has already been declared out this week, and it appears quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is headed in that direction, too.
Bridgewater was limited in practice for the second day in a row Thursday, sporting a red no-contact jersey after suffering a knee injury towards the end of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. According to ESPN’s David Newton, Bridgewater was still walking with a noticeable limp during Thursday’s practice.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport took things one step further, saying that his sources indicate Bridgewater is unlikely to play against the Lions. Rapoport did note that no firm decision has been made yet, but “it’s headed that way.”
If Bridgewater can’t go, that would mean the Panthers would either have to start P.J. Walker, fresh off his stint in the XFL, or 2019 third-round pick Will Grier. Per Tom Pelissero, the two have been splitting reps at practice this week. Only Grier has ever started an NFL game, completing 28-of-52 passes for 228 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions in two combined starts last season.
Meanwhile, the Lions are going through an injury situation with their own quarterback. However, Matthew Stafford appears to be trending towards playing, as he participated in Thursday’s practice after sitting Wednesday out.
UPDATE: Here’s what Panthers coach Matt Rhule had to say on Thursday about Bridgewater’s status:
Matt Rhule not ready to rule Teddy Bridgewater out, yet. "He's extremely limited right now." Says he hasn't "opened it up yet" in terms of running.— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 19, 2020
"I'm not gonna put him out there if he's gonna hurt himself, but if he can play, we're gonna play him."