Inside the Panthers

New Panthers starting center Tyler Larsen is up to the task, QB Derek Anderson says

Carolina Panthers third-string center Tyler Larsen (69) made his first-ever start against the Seahawks, after starter Ryan Kalil and backup Gino Gradkowski were placed on injured reserve.
Carolina Panthers third-string center Tyler Larsen (69) made his first-ever start against the Seahawks, after starter Ryan Kalil and backup Gino Gradkowski were placed on injured reserve. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

A little bit lost in the Carolina Panthers’ pitiful showing against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night was this: The rag-tag offensive line, which has suffered a catastrophic number of injuries this season, did not give up a sack.

There were four quarterback hurries on Cam Newton, but it was the first time in 2016 that Newton was not sacked. Backup Derek Anderson also did not take a sack when filling in against Tampa Bay while Newton was in the concussion protocol.

Third-string center Tyler Larsen made his first-ever start against the Seahawks, after starter Ryan Kalil and backup Gino Gradkowski were placed on injured reserve. It was just his third NFL game.

“I think Larsen has done a great job of stepping in and trying to be a leader for those guys and making sure they’re going in the right spot,” Anderson said. “But he hasn’t played as much as Ryan (Kalil) has, he hasn’t seen as much stuff as Ryan has. So it’s a learning process.

“I think he did a good job as (a guy) just getting thrown in there. I mean, three weeks ago he was on the scout team with me.”

“Tyler Larsen!” grinned left tackle Mike Remmers – who also is not in his original position after starter Michael Oher went into the concussion protocol and then was placed on injured reserve late last month. “He did an amazing job stepping up. ... I think he did a great job. That’s a tough environment, tough team. I think he handled it well and learned a lot from it and I look forward to seeing this week.”

Remmers said Larsen set the line (against the Seahawks defense) well and received advice all last week from Kalil and Gradkowski.

“We popped him in there, and he handled his own,” he said.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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