Report: Panthers Expected to Bench Kyle Allen for Rookie Will Grier vs. Colts

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

Carolina Panthers quarterback Will Grier (3) and quarterback Kyle Allen (7) are seen prior to an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Will Grier is expected to get his first career start Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Kyle Allen under center, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Though it hasn't been officially announced, Rapoport noted "this is the direction it's heading."

Allen has started the last 12 games for the Panthers, totaling 3,027 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with 15 interceptions before seemingly getting benched ahead of Week 16.

The 23-year-old took over for the injured Cam Newton in Week 3, starring with four touchdown passes in his first game while leading the team to wins in his first four starts.

Newton was then placed on injured reserve in early November, seemingly giving Allen free reign for the rest of the season. Rapoport also reported the Panthers would look to trade Newton in the offseason.

However, Allen has struggled as of late, with Carolina suffering six straight losses through Sunday. The second-year quarterback threw three interceptions in the Week 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, giving him 11 picks during the losing streak with seven fumbles (three lost).

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was adamant the team was sticking with Allen earlier this month, saying only "Who knows?" when Grier would get his chance, per Alaina Getzenberg of the Observer. It now seems the recent problems have led to a change of heart.

Grier will now get his first opportunity in the regular season after being taken in the third round of the 2019 draft. The West Virginia product threw 71 touchdown passes over his last two years in college, finishing fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018, and he will try to find similar success at the next level.

Assuming he starts the final two games of the season, his performance could greatly impact the team's plans at the position going into 2020.