Despite suffering an ankle injury in last week’s win over the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore is expected to play on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Fowler states that Moore had a productive week of practice coming off the injury from last week. Moore was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Having Moore active will be huge for the Panthers, especially since receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. is questionable with a shoulder injury, as well. Moore went from being a full practice participant on Wednesday and Thursday to a limited one on Friday afternoon. Interim head coach Steve Wilks refuted that Moore suffered a setback.
“It’s not so much of a setback, it’s just really just trying to see whether or not he’s gonna be able to sustain and be efficient in what we’re asking him to do. So we’ll see exactly how he is,” Wilks said.
Moore leads the Panthers in receptions (46), receiving yards (605) and touchdowns (4). Terrace Marshall Jr. is second on the team in receiving yards (346), while Christian McCaffrey is second in receptions (33). McCaffrey was traded to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 20, which speaks volumes to just how bad the Panthers’ passing game is (ranks 30th).
Surprisingly, even at 5-8, the Panthers are still in contention to win the NFC South. They’re just a game back from the division-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina has played a lot better under Wilks also, winning three of their last four games and scoring at least 20 points in six of their last seven.
Support for Wilks getting the Panthers head coach job full-time is building in some league circles after his 4-4 start, according to Fowler. AFC executive: “Slam dunk to take the interim tag title off. A better brand of football since he took over.” NFC executive: “They play hard for him, has full command of the locker room.”
While the Panthers’ passing attack is nothing to write home about, they are efficient on the ground. The Panthers rushed for 185 yards in their Week 13 win over the Denver Broncos, along with compiling a whopping 223 yards in last week’s win over the Seahawks. The Panthers’ strong rushing attack might not bode well for the Steelers, as they’ve allowed 361 yards in their last two games, 215 of which came in last Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.