2020 ScheduleAll times ET

2020 Schedule

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

New Panthers CB Eli Apple, who turned 25 on Sunday, has been around the league so he recognizes speed when he sees it. After seeing Carolina wide receivers DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel and Robbie Anderson, Apples believes “we have the fastest receivers'' in the league.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Former Penn State star and current Panthers DE Yetur Gross-Matos on reports the Big 10 and college football may not play football this fall: “Hopefully, the NFL doesn't follow the same suit. It's heartbreaking knowing those guys won't be able to play.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos won the Panthers first-ever hotdog eating contest on Friday, putting down nine dogs in three minutes. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end out of Penn State said he didn't do much training other than looking up YouTube videos on the Nathans hotdog eating contest. "I don't anticipate eating any hotdogs anytime soon,'' he said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers claimed former Eagles DT Bruce Hector off waivers, according to his agent, Christina Phillips. Hector made the Philadelphia roster in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. Carolina waived WR Trevontae Hights to keep the roster at 80.

Is McCaffrey the best non-QB offensive player in the NFL? (1:03)
15h
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
3dJeremy Fowler

Source: Okung mulls retirement over virus worry

Panthers lineman Russell Okung, who seriously considered opting out at Thursday's deadline due to coronavirus concerns, is comfortable walking away from the game if he feels the football environment is not safe, a source said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Two defensive players Matt Rhule noted had great offseasons were DT KK Short and DE Efe Obada. Short is down to 315 pounds, which Rhule called an "All Pro'' weight for him. Obada has beefed up 10 pounds to 275 pounds and may be able to help some at DT. "I think he's going to have a really nice year for us,'' Rhule said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers haven't had to place a player on the NFL's COVID-19 list yet, and coach Matt Rhule believes that has a lot to do with work that has gone into making Bank of America Stadium a place where everyone can social distance and still work effectively. “I can't imagine a safer building,'' Rhule said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

North Carolina this week extended Phase 2 of COVID-19 re-opening another five weeks. What's that mean for the Panthers in terms of having fans in the stands? Coach Matt Rhule says he'll be ready fans or no fans. “I've been so locked in on football. . . . Obviously, we want to play in front of fans. We also want to be safe.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers OLB Shaq Thompson hasn't been a vocal leader in years past, but says he's ready to step up and replace the role of Luke Kuechly and other veterans. Coach Matt Rhule isn't looking for Thompson to be more vocal but to set the example he already has. “When Shaq showed up early [for camp] with the injured guys, that's leadership,'' he said. “A lot of guys that talk a lot aren't necessarily Leaders. Leaders are ones people follow.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Pandemic aside, Panthers coach Matt Rhule likes what he's seen physically from his players since they arrived for training camp: “Guys showed up in shape. Everyone showed up here in really good condition so we're able to start off a step ahead.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers coach Matt Rhule says cornerback Donte Jackson's best playing days are ahead of him, suggesting last year's drop-off by the former LSU star is behind him: “Donte is there. We all have to improve and get better during the season. His maturity …I see a competitive, tough grown man who really is ready to play day in and day out. He's really one of the bright spots for me.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey spent a day this past offseason being a photographer for a Vogue Magazine shoot of his girlfriend, Olivia Culpo. He didn't realize how long that would take. “That was a one-and-done for me. That was a long day for me,'' he said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

A lot of fantasy sites have Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey the top-rated player on their board. Who would McCaffrey take? “I'd take myself, yeah. I would always take myself in fantasy.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Christian McCaffrey says he's excited to have Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. "He's a pro. Look at what he does every single day in practice, where he throws the ball.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

One of cornerback Donte Jackson's efforts this offseason was to bulk up to he can be more physical with receivers this year. “I've been on it. That's why I've got guns now,'' he said, showing his biceps during the zoom call.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Cornerback Donte Jackson was “extremely happy'' to see the Panthers make Christian McCaffrey the highest paid running back in the league during the offseason: “He's the leader of our team, our motor.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson spent a lot of the offseason talking to new coach Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow about paying attention to detail. Last year was tough for him personally, and a groin injury played a role, but Jackson believes he still can be one of the best defensive backs in the league. He says Snow "trusts me to lead the cornerback room.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers are going to have one of the youngest defenses in the NFL with a lot of new faces, but cornerback Donte Jackson doesn't seem cncerned: “Real faces really don't matter as long as everybody comes in ready to work.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Carolina DE Brian Burns takes on the alter persona of “Spider-Man'' and is known for his “Spider-Man'' sack celebrations. Last year he had debates with several of his teammates who felt “Batman'' and other superheroes were superior. He hasn't had time to figure out what his competition might be this year. “I have a couple of ideas going in my head. I want to see how everybody moves and their mindset.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Brian Burns was drafted in the first round last year to play OLB for coach Ron Rivera in a 3-4 base scheme. New coach Matt Rhule is switching back to 4-3, so Burns will have to play more DE. He's added 15 pounds to his frame to do that. Asked if this better suits him, Burns said: “It's very versatile. I like that. He can pretty much put me anywhere.''

Team Stats

Passing Yards228.120th
Rushing Yards113.714th
Points For21.320th
Points Against29.42nd

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