Nixon’s knee injury ends Panthers rookie season; QB mechanics are a concern – Salisbury Post


Associated press

The Panthers placed fifth-round rookie draft pick Daviyon Nixon on the injured list with a knee injury that ended the season on Thursday.

The defensive tackle was injured during practice on Wednesday.

Nixon has played all seven games this season as a substitute and has nine tackles, two quarterback hits and a half-sack.

The Carolina roster has 50 players, but the team are expected to remove cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the PUP roster this week, while defensive backs Juston Burris and Myles Hartsfield are expected to return from the injured reserve.

Rookie wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. is still out of practice due to a concussion and is expected to miss his second straight game on Sunday when the Panthers visit the Atlanta Falcons. Starting left tackle Cam Erving trained and linebacker Shaq Thompson was limited as he recovered from a foot injury.

Darnold’s mechanics, timing in the spotlight

CHARLOTTE (AP) – The Carolina Panthers are tinkering with Sam Darnold’s mechanics in hopes of reclaiming whatever is left of the quarterback’s confidence.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule worked closely with Darnold this week on his footwork, particularly slowing the QB’s pullback. Darnold’s falls got faster and faster as the season progressed, which Rhule says has messed up the timing with his receivers.

To help illustrate, Rhule showed Darnold the movie of Carolina’s Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints when he was more in sync.

“There’s no doubt he can do it – there’s no doubt,” Rhule said. “I just think you’re trying so hard to win, you start trying to do too much, play a little faster, and all of a sudden you look up one day, and you’re kinda hassled, you don’t ‘re not quite in tune.

The Panthers traded three draft picks for Darnold this offseason in hopes he would become a franchise quarterback.

But the Panthers have lost four straight games and Darnold has seven interceptions during that span. Rhule finally had enough last Sunday and put Darnold on the bench in the second half of a 25-3 road loss to the New York Giants.

As Darnold stood on the sidelines with his fingers sunk into his shoulder pads near his throat, it was clear to anyone watching him that he had regressed.

Nonetheless, Darnold will start on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

When he takes the pitch, he said his goal will be to “slow down” his feet in the pocket.

“Sometimes my feet can be quick the wrong way,” Darnold said. “Sometimes it’s good, but for me, I want everything to be rhythmic and slow. Slower is not a good term, but a bit slower and more rhythmic than what I’ve been doing in the last few weeks. I just make sure my timing and pace are on point.

Rhule said Carolina coaches teach quarterbacks that the feet set the timing and tempo of a passing game, and the eyes follow from there.

“When you come back and look at the big quarterbacks that have been playing for a long time, the Aaron Rodgerses, the Tom Bradys, they have so much experience and they’ve played their way through the good times and the bad and they can kind of stand out. self-regulate, ”Rhule said.

“Sam is working so hard and trying to move on until next week and what’s next and next workout, and I think it takes a while… to say ‘this is what it is about looked like when you did it right. “I hope that gave him a mental image of ‘this is what I have to do’.

The Panthers are 0-4 since Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury and the 2019 All-Pro running back remained in the injured reserve.

Darnold took issue with the idea that the loss of McCaffrey had an impact on his performance.

“My readings don’t change just because Christian isn’t in the game,” Darnold said.

In addition to being on the bench, Darnold has faced relentless reports this week that the Panthers are potentially interested in trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson as a replacement. Since then, multiple reports have said the Panthers backed down after testing the waters ahead of the league’s trade deadline on November 2.

Darnold ignored the reports, saying, “I don’t care. I am afraid to do my job every day. … That’s all I’m worried about right now.

The Panthers certainly have reason to be concerned about Darnold’s confidence.

But Rhule is trying to support the fourth-year quarterback, who is 16-29 as an NFL starter.

“I feel really good with Sam,” Rhule said. “Obviously it wasn’t a great game this last game. I think at the end of the day, when Sam comes back and looks at himself, or our whole team comes back and looks at each other against the New Orleans Saints, we see exactly what he is and was and can be, and we have to bring it back to that place.

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL



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