. Starting safety Jason Hendricks was lost for the year, starting offensive lineman Lucas Nix (knee) was upgraded to probable and starting linebacker Todd Thomas returns after missing four games.
The biggest problem for the Panthers has been the play of the offensive line. Head coach Todd Graham has shuffled around the starting five countless times in hopes of find something that works. The unit has allowed a startling 33 sacks in only seven games – 10 more than all of last year. Their struggles are also connected to the downfall of quarterback Tino Sunseri. After posting a quarterback rating of 136.6 last season, Sunseri sports a dismal 5-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio and has been benched multiple times. Difficult to back a team who can't keep their quarterback upright...laying double-digits.
"It has been interesting," Graham said Monday at his weekly news conference. "But we really have had the most stability that we have had in quite some time [on the offensive line] and also I feel good about our preparation so far.