McCaffrey misses practice as Panthers search for answers to woes on both sides of the ball
The Carolina Panthers (3-2) resumed practice today in preparation for their Oct 17 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Absent from practice today, however, was running back Christian McCaffrey. Shaq Thompson was on site but did not participate along with linebacker Kamal Martin. But Cam Erving, who has now returned to full participation after a bout with a neck injury, remained upbeat about McCaffrey's return as well as the offensive line's remedies to mend the issues that have recently plagued the Carolina offense. "Him not being out there hurts but nobody in this building is working harder to get back on that field harder than Christian McCaffrey," Erving said.
"We have a sense of urgency to go out and block and do what we need to do."
The Panthers still struggle with maintaining momentum going into the second have of games and look to finally solve those issues on Sunday. Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady spoke about the difficulties of game planning for each unique team as well as the recent comment made by Panthers' wide receiver Robby Anderson about adding new routes into the scheme. "Going back to last week the execution just wasn't at a high level," Brady said.
"We have enough play-makers on this team and I have to do a better job of getting the ball in their hands and we have to execute at a higher level."
Newly signed punter Ryan Winslow also addressed the media for the first time
and elaborated on his career challenges while waiting to be signed in addition to his path to get to the Panthers' roster. "I was doing some sales work for my uncle's apparel business ...but you still need to prepare like this could happen," Winslow said.
As far as the defense is concerned, Phil Snow was clear about what he expects from a defense and takes full credit for recent shortfalls. "Our job is to make sure they have fewer points than we do - doesn't matter how the game goes," Snow said.
The most likely deciding factor in this week's game will be how the Vikings offense converts on third downs while up against the Panthers highly ranked defense - especially when it comes to making stops on third down. But maintaining the high level defensive effort will be a challenge with the limitations team's have been able to mount against Brian Burns who trails linebacker Hasson Reddick in their personal competition for sacks this season. Reddick has garnered 6.5 sacks this year.
The panthers host the Minnesota Vikings (2-3) this Sunday at Bank of America Stadium at 1:00 p.m. ET.