Three familiar names will not suit up for the Carolina Panthers this week at New Orleans Saints in their regular season finale.
Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner, defensive tackle Kawann Short and quarterback Cam Newton will not play Week 17, with ankle, calf and right shoulder injuries, respectively. It’ll mark Turner’s third missed game of the season, and the second in a row for Short and Newton.
Tyler Larsen will start in Turner’s stead — which falls in line with the Panthers’ goal of seeing what some of their younger players can do.
“We’ve got a couple of other guys that we’ll have active and will get opportunities as well,” head coach Ron Rivera said Friday. “There are a number of young guys that we’re planning for opportunities to put them out there.
“Going forward, those are the guys we want to be able to keep and have them as a part of what you’re doing.”
Also present on the team’s final injury report was running back Kenjon Barner, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with a knee injury. Barner, claimed by Carolina in October after he was waived by New England, has served as the Panthers’ top punt and kick returner over the past several weeks.
Rivera said Barner was injured during Thursday’s practice when he took a “pretty good” hit. He was seen leaving the field on a cart shortly after.
“It’s concerning. The young man’s been solid for us, been resilient,” Rivera said. “He’s done a great job on special teams. If he’s not ready to go — we’ve been working without him, so we do have a plan.”
Rivera said DJ Moore is next in line at punt returner and Travaris Cadet could slide in at kick returner.
Offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, who didn’t practice Thursday, was not listed on Friday’s injury report and is expected to play, as is defensive end Bryan Cox Jr.