Browns vs Panthers : The Carolina Panthers are in a free fall, losers of four consecutive games. The Panthers are in grave danger of missing the playoffs, and speculation about the future of coach Ron Rivera has increased as they prepare to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 10 a.m.
The early afternoon television window, in the NFL world, is often derided as the window where the “bad” teams in the league play. The Carolina Panthers can insist that they aren’t a fundamentally bad team – and they’d be right in doing so – but the network bigwigs are not likely to pay much heed, especially given that their opponent this weekend has long occupied said broadcast window. So, off the Panthers go to play the Cleveland Browns, before the smallest audience of any game this weekend.
Alleviating some of the pain from Ward’s absence is the expected return of veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who has missed the past eight games with a broken wrist. He was designated to return from injured reserve two weeks ago and will be eligible to play Sunday if the Browns add him back to the 53-man roster.”He had a really good day today,” coach Gregg Williams said. “He was the topic of a lot of conversation for how well he played.
Defensive back Phillip Gaines (knee), who filled in for Ward when he went down with the concussion last week against the Texans, is considered questionable. So, too, is defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who is dealing with an injured bicep. Ogunjobi missed Wednesday’s practice but participated in Thursday’s and Friday’s.
“He is a tough dude now,” Williams said.Center JC Tretter (ankle) is questionable for a seventh straight week. Rookie offensive lineman Austin Corbett (foot) will miss his second straight game.