Will Grier again on the other end of an opponent touchdown

Darin Gantt

The Panthers had high hopes when they drafted West Virginia quarterback Will Grier in the third round.

So far, Grier is causing them to have higher hopes for teammate Kyle Allen, which might simply be a case of looking good by comparison.

Grier was drilled from behind by an unblocked Steelers linebacker Jayrone Elliott, fumbled, and Elliott scooped it up and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown.

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It was the latest mishap in what has been a frustrating preseason for the rookie quarterback, who also had an interception returned for a touchdown in the second preseason game against the Bills.

In the first three preseason games, Grier was a combined 23-of-43 for 196 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions (54.0 passer rating).

He came in after one series for Allen tonight, which suggests Allen was well ahead in the competition to be Newton’s backup. The Panthers are high on Allen after he started a meaningless Week 17 game against the Saints last year, but he hasn’t been very convincing (or good) this preseason.

In a perfect world, Grier would have been competent enough to be their backup, but for now it appears that’s at least a year away. The good news is, Cam Newton‘s going to be able to play in the opener against the Rams after scaring them with a foot sprain last week. The bad news is, if Newton has to miss any time this year, the Panthers could be in real trouble.

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