Carolina Panthers

Panthers’ punters struggling with shanks from left hash mark

Carolina Panthers punters Mike Scifres, left, and Swayze Waters have struggled with shanking the football from the left hash mark, coach Ron Rivera said Thursday.
Carolina Panthers punters Mike Scifres, left, and Swayze Waters have struggled with shanking the football from the left hash mark, coach Ron Rivera said Thursday. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn’t anticipate selecting his starting punter for another month. But between now and final cuts, he wants to know why they’re struggling from the left hash mark.

Rivera revealed Thursday that punters Mike Scifres and Swayze Waters are having a hard time punting from there, and that’s problematic for Carolina’s special teams.

“Every time they get to the left hash they both seem to shank the ball,” Rivera said after practice. “We are a directional punting football team, so we’ve got to find someone who can get on that left hash and be comfortable.

“I want to spend a little bit of time and examine it and just see where we are as far as that competition is concerned. It’ll probably go right down to the wire.”

The Panthers signed veteran Scifres in the offseason to pair with Waters. Scifres is coming off surgery to his left, non-kicking leg, and Waters is hoping to appear in his first NFL regular-season game.

“I’ll say this about any position: You’re always looking. So you never know,” Rivera said of possibly bringing in outside help. “I think we have two guys who have the ability.”

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

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