Panthers coach Ron Rivera won’t use the bye week to give players extra work in hopes of shaking them out of their four-game slump.
Quite the contrary.
After Sunday’s 41-38 loss to New Orleans, Rivera said he plans to practice for two days and then give his team an extended break.
“I’m going to bring the guys in and we’re going to work the first two days next week and then we’re going to get them out of there,” he said. “I told them I want them to get away from it, don’t read anything, don’t watch anything, don’t listen to anything. Just get yourselves ready to come back focused in and start right back to work the following Monday.”
The Panthers’ next game is Oct. 30 against Arizona – a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game.
Rivera hopes to have several starters back from injuries, including No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry (turf toe) and left tackle Michael Oher (concussion).
Oher missed his third consecutive game Sunday, but – barring a setback – is expected to be ready for the Cardinals game, according to a source.
Cornerback Daryl Worley is in the concussion protocol after he was injured in the second half against the Saints.
Rivera said the bye is coming at “the perfect time.”
“We have a chance to get away from it, shake it off and then come back refocused and ready to roll,” he said. “That’s the only challenge that we have left.”