Gilmore, Prescott & Peterson Injury Updates

Stephon Gilmore, who hasn’t played all season, will make his Carolina Panthers debut sooner rather than later.

Gilmore — whom Carolina acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots on Oct. 6 — is expected to begin practice this week, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list by the Patriots before the start of the season with a quad injury, thus sidelining him for the first six games of 2021.

Gilmore, 31, missed the final two games of the Patriots’ 2020 with a partially torn quad. He was the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason , and the Pats ultimately decided to move him one month before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.

The Panthers, losers of three straight, will try to bounce back when they visit the 1-5 New York Giants this Sunday (1:00 p.m. EST).

The Dallas Cowboys can breathe a sigh of relief: Quarterback Dak Prescott shouldn’t miss any time after suffering a minor calf injury during the final play of the team’s 35-29 overtime win over the Patriots.

Prescott rolled out to his right and found an open CeeDee Lamb for a 35-yard touchdown to end the game. He was wearing a walking boot during the post-game press conference, but he managed to avoid serious injury.

Per Rapoport, Prescott is confident that the injury isn’t concerning. A source told Rapoport that it looked good following tests. The Cowboys (5-1) will now enter a bye week as they prepare for a Week 8 road contest against the Minnesota Vikings on Halloween night (8:20 p.m. EST).

The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson is going on the injured reserve, which will keep him out of action for at least three games.

Peterson left Sunday’s 34-28 road win over Carolina with what the team is calling “cramping issues.” The eight-time Pro Bowler signed a one-year deal worth $10 million with the Vikings in the offseason.

Rhule: Darnold Is “Not Playing Well Enough”

After a surprising 3-0 start, the Panthers dropped their third straight on Sunday and now find themselves back to .500.

Sam Darnold’s recent struggles have been a key factor in the team’s sudden regression. Darnold threw just one interception over the first three games, but he has tossed six during the losing streak.

Against Minnesota, Darnold completed just 17 of 41 pass attempts for 207 yards, one touchdown and one pick. He was also sacked four times.

Speaking with reporters on Monday, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was blunt in his assessment of Darnold.

“Sam’s not playing well enough — let’s just start there — which means that Sean (Ryan), Joe (Brady) and me are not coaching good enough,” Rhule said, per’s Kevin Patra. “We’re 3-3. There are a lot of teams that are 3-3….Everyone on offense, every receiver, every tight end, every back, every O-lineman, their job is to help our quarterback play well. We are not getting that done.”

Darnold — the No. 3 selection in the 2018 Draft — was acquired by the Panthers in an offseason trade with the New York Jets. He had a pair of 300-yard performances and three touchdowns against one pick during Carolina’s 3-0 start.

But Darnold has since struggled with accuracy (his completion percentage was below 60 percent in Weeks 5 and 6), and turnovers. Aside from the aforementioned six interceptions during the losing streak, he has been sacked 12 times in that span.

The Panthers, Vikings and Chicago Bears —  all 3-3 —  are tied for the NFC’s final wild card spot.

Campbell Critical of Goff In Lions’ Latest Loss

The Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, hours before the Detroit Lions fell 34-11 at home to the Cincinnati Bengals. With that, the Lions (0-6) are the only winless team remaining.

Jared Goff was ineffective, with 28 completions for just 202 passing yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Lions head coach Dan Campbell wasn’t shy in critiquing his quarterback’s performance when speaking with reporters post-game.

“I don’t feel like we can accurately judge him one way or another,” Campbell said, per Brad Galli of WXYZ. “I feel he needs to step up more than he has.”

The Lions acquired Goff from the Los Angeles Rams as part of the Matthew Stafford blockbuster trade back in January. The two-time Pro Bowler has posted 1,505 passing yards and seven touchdowns against four interceptions.

The Lions will look to rebound when they visit Goff’s former team this Sunday at SoFi Stadium (4:05 p.m. EST).

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