Carolina Panthers

One name on inactive list a surprise for Carolina Panthers at New Orleans

Questions about receiver Devin Funchess’ future with the Carolina Panthers only increased on Sunday at New Orleans.

Funchess was announced as a healthy scratch for the Panthers’ Week 17 matchup against the Saints.

He is in a contract year and was expected to take over full-time as the Panthers’ No. 1 wide receiver this year, after being moved into the “X” position following the trade of Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo last year.

Carolina Panthers’ Devin Funchess (17) is not active for Week 17’s matchup at New Orleans. Funchess is a healthy scratch. Jason E. Miczek AP

But his production — and snaps — took a nosedive after Funchess dropped at least four passes against Detroit in Week 11. He sat out Week 12 with a back injury, and has played less than half of the team’s offensive snaps since then, with a season-low 19 percent of offensive snaps in Week 13.

Funchess has maintained he is not focusing on his upcoming contract.

The former second-round pick has 44 catches for 549 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Funchess did travel with the team to New Orleans.

Also inactive for the Panthers on Sunday were quarterback Cam Newton, right guard Trai Turner, defensive tackle Kawann Short, defensive end Efe Obada, cornerback Lorenzo Doss and tight end Jason Vander Laan.

This story will be updated.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071; @jourdanrodrigue
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Jourdan has covered the Carolina Panthers as a beat writer since 2016, and froze during Pennsylvania winters as an award-winning Penn State football beat writer before that. A 2014 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, she’s on a never-ending quest for trick plays and the stories that give football fans goosebumps.
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