The Carolina Panthers will open the 2017 NFL season in San Francisco against the 49ers, according to league sources. That will mark the sixth times in seven years a Ron Rivera-coached Panthers team has started the year on the road.
Rivera was upset a season ago when the Panthers had to start on the road against the Denver Broncos in a Super Bowl rematch rather than kicking off the season in Charlotte.
The Observer has also learned:
▪ The home opener is in Week 2 at home against Buffalo and new Bills coach Sean McDermott, who was Carolina’s defensive coordinator for six seasons starting in 2011.
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▪ And the Panthers close the season on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta against the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opens this year.
▪ An industry source said the Panthers will visit the Bears on Oct. 22.
▪ The Panthers will host the Miami Dolphins in a Monday Night Football game on Nov. 13, the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports.
The NFL will release the full schedule on Thursday night at 8 p.m. on the NFL Network.