All along we've had concerns about the Panthers offense. They hired Norv Turner to run things, and while he had great success in the past, his most recent stops haven't gone well. And it now looks like he's going to need to do it in Carolina with a severely damaged offensive line.
The team lost Andrew Norwell in free agency, and that was expected. But his projected replacement, Amini Silatolu (pictured), has a torn MCL and is iffy for the start of the season. And that's not even the worst news: right tackle Daryl Williams, one of the league's better players at the position, suffered a dislocated knee cap and torn MCL in practice last week. He'll definitely miss a good chunk of the season; he might be out for the year.
Carolina will still field quality players at at least three positions, the Kalil brothers at left tackle and center (until one of them gets hurt) and right guard Trai Turner. But the net result is the biggest faller among our offensive lines since the magazine came out, and another reason to be concerned about the Panthers offense.
Some other noteworthy recent developments:
Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley tore his ACL in training camp and is out for the season. We were concerned about this line anyway, protecting Sam Bradford or perhaps rookie Josh Rosen. Concerns are even greater now.
Seattle might be pulling the plug on Germain Ifedi at right tackle, going with fifth-round rookie Jamarco Jones. Judging on what has been said, it sounds more due to poor performance by Ifedi than anything Jones has been doing in camp so far.
Josh Garnett has a knee injury. The former first-round pick was in a battle to even start at right guard for the 49ers, but now he's not considered a roster lock (especially if he can't get healthy). We're putting journeyman Mike Person in that spot, which might be a problem area for the line.
Jack Mewhort, projected to start at right guard for the Colts, has retired; he's battled injuries throughout his career. The team will use Matt Slauson in that spot; he's on his fourth team since 2012.
Ramon Foster injured a knee at Steelers practice, and is iffy for Week 1. We're leaving him in that spot, but it's possible he'll miss a game or two or be limited early on. An issue for one of the league's better lines, though it seems like they dodged a bullet; could have been worse (reported as a hyperextended knee).
Jamon Brown was suspended two games to start the season; the Rams line will be a little worse those two games.
Houston gave up on guard Jeff Allen, signed to a big deal two years ago. Houston will use Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete at guard and field one of the league's lesser lines, a reason we're concerned about Deshaun Watson's protection.
Rankings are below; colorful table posted on our Facebook page showing our evaluation of each player.
|OFFENSIVE LINE RANKINGS|