Thursday @ 7:20 pm CT
Carolina Panthers (2-0) @ Houston Texans (1-1)
OUT: QB Tyrod Taylor (hamstring), WR Nico Collins (shoulder) Danny Amendola (hamstring), DB Terrance Mitchell (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Justin Reid (Knee), LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee)
OUT: G Pat Elfein (wrist), DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle)
The TNF Week 3 injury report begins with the 2-0 Carolina Panthers on the road to take on the 1-1 Houston Texans. Houston will be missing players on both sides of the football, the most significant being Tyrod Taylor, who injured his hamstring on Sunday’s loss to the Browns and is expected to miss another 3 to 4 weeks. Rookie Davis Mills will make his first career NFL start with a limited offense as he’ll be missing 2 receivers in rookie Nico Collins and Danny Amendola. On the defensive side of the ball Justin Reid is listed as a game time decision for the Texans. Reid who’s tied for 1st in the NFL with 2 interceptions is the leader of the secondary and will be a blow to the Texans defense if he can’t play as they attempt to slow down the surging Panthers offense.
The Carolina Panthers will be without guard Pat Elfein and defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. Elfein being out shouldn’t be much of a concern for Carolina as Dennis Daley has done a good job stepping in for him and will be looking to keep a clean pocket for Darnold along with opening running lanes for Christian McCaffrey. On the other side of the ball Yetur Gross-Matos will be out after an ankle injury in last week’s win against the Saints, so Carolina will be leaning on Brian Burns to put pressure on Mills.
Sam Darnold has shown over the past 2 weeks that he isn’t the same player we saw with Adam Gase in New York. He comes into this game with 3 touchdowns and only 1 interception and alongside Christian McCaffrey this offense will be looking to put points on the board and control this game. However the Houston defense comes in with 5 turnovers and is looking to increase that number, stopping the run game and forcing Darnold into bad throws is needed from this defense in order to keep them in the game and alleviate pressure off of Davis Mills.
In conclusion, I believe Carolina wins, the Texans defense will keep them in the game for the first half but offensive woes by the rookie quarterback will prevent points being put on the board, Sam Darnold has another great game with possibly 1 interception but leads the Panthers to a win and a 3-0 record.
Carolina Panthers 24 – Houston Texans 13