CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Carolina Panthers will likely be without two of their top players on Sunday due to injuries when they travel to face the Washington Football Team.
Head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Wednesday that defensive end Brian Burns will more than likely be out with a knee injury and running back Christian McCaffrey is doubtful with a quad injury that has caused him to miss the last two games. McCaffrey would now have missed 13 of the team’s 16 games this season with one remaining.
“Injuries are part of the game,” Rhule said. “A lot of people have them and we’ll just have to find a way to try and get it done.”
Rhule said Burns injured his knee in Sunday’s loss to Green Bay when he made a sack on Aaron Rodgers late in the game to get the ball back. He added that the injury will not require surgery.
Burns leads the team with 8.0 sacks and has 33 tackles and three forced fumbles this season. Many argued that he was a “snub” not being named an NFL Pro Bowler this week.
“We have been having a lot of our success in our three-down (linemen) package which Brian can get to by simply standing up and just walking out,” Rhule said. “So we will be a little more traditional and play more of the four-down (linemen) stuff.”
The Panthers sit at 4-10 and were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, but their game against Washington will be the first time they face former head coach Ron Rivera, who is now in the same position with Washington.
“It’s going to be great seeing him and it’s going to be different,” cornerback Donte Jackson said. “Everybody is going to be excited to see him and it’s going to be even more special knowing everything he’s been through this year.”