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Need a one-stop shop to catch up on the top sports stories big and small? Time Out For Sports airs Mondays on WFAE's "All Things Considered" and has what you need to know about everything from Charlotte-area high school football highlights to the latest updates on the Carolina Panthers.

After Panthers fall to Buffalo, speculation turns to next season's Carolina quarterbacks

panthers cam vs buffalo twitter.jpg
Carolina Panthers
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton makes a touchdown run Sunday in an away game against the Buffalo Bills. Ultimately, the Panthers lost, 31-14.

The Panthers are struggling. On Sunday, Carolina lost again, this time on the road, to Buffalo. The Bills beat the Panthers 31-14. But that didn’t mean Carolina didn’t have a few good plays.

“The Panthers were short-handed,” The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. told WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn in this week’s installment of Time Out for Sports. “... But they still managed 19 first downs, and they had the ball in the fourth quarter with the chance to make it a one-score game. But they were playing the No. 1-ranked defense in the league, and they just teed off on Cam Newton and that hope fell apart quickly.”

It was Carolina’s fourth loss in a row. And they’re up against reigning Super Bowl champs Tampa Bay this coming Sunday — superstar quarterback Tom Brady included.

Sam Darnold — the Panthers’ starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, before Cam Newton came back — has been practicing, and Wertz says he just might take to the field this weekend.

“He should be cleared to play this week, and given the fact he’s costing Carolina nearly $19 million next season and you figure he’s going to be on the roster, I’d give him some snaps against Tampa Bay,” Wertz said. “I’d start Cam, and I’d go into next season with both of them on the roster. I think Carolina has to go all-in on offensive linemen this year like it did last year with defense.”

On the college football level, there was an upset this past weekend in Atlanta when South Carolina State toppled Deion Sanders-coached Jackson State University 31-10 in the Celebration Bowl, becoming the Black college football championship team for the third time.

“Jackson State — it just wasn’t their day,” Wertz said. “South Carolina State was the underdog at 6-5 and came in and just totally dominated. I don’t think anybody saw that coming.”

You can listen to the full Time Out for Sports conversation above. Here’s a quick look at what else Glenn and Wertz covered.

  • The NFL has new COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • A surge in COVID cases is taking its toll across the sports world, including at the college and high school levels. 
  • The Hornets lost to the Phoenix Suns even after a few key players came back out of COVID protocol.  
  • In Charlotte, Chambers High football coach Glenwood Ferebee resigned after a career that took the school to three state championship games in a row — two of them victorious.    

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