On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers announced their signing of quarterback Kyle Allen off the practice squad.

QB Kyle Allen Bumped To Panthers’ 53-Man Roster

This development follows coach Ron Rivera‘s statement that veteran starting QB Cam Newton will be benched for Sunday’s home contest against the Atlanta Falcons because of a persistent shoulder injury.

Fourth-year QB Taylor Heinicke will be Carolina’s (6-8) starter on Sunday, while Allen will serve as his backup. The Panthers brought on Allen, 22, last spring as an undrafted free agent who played at Houston and Texas A&M, although he has yet to play in an NFL game.

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The team also put linebacker Shaq Thompson on injured reserve this week, which means his season is over. Thompson has compiled 87 tackles, one forced fumble and 3.5 sacks this season, and has been one of Carolina’s most prolific linebackers alongside Luke Kuechly. 

Shake-ups like these in the final weeks of the regular season can often cause imbalances in teams and affect their playoff chances, although Carolina’s postseason hopes appear rather grim at this point given their standing.

The Super Bowl 50 finalist Panthers are second in the NFC South and are far behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints (12-2), whom they will visit for their regular-season finale on Dec. 30. The Saints beat the Panthers 12-9 in Charlotte on Monday.

 

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