CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sporting Alert — Monday Night Football, live on WatchESPN and ESPN has scheduled the Carolina Panthers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium here in Charlotte.
Watch the Buccaneers vs. Panthers at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN or stream live on a computer, tablet or other internet-connected devices with the WatchESPN app. Monday Night Football: ESPN/WatchESPN at 8:25 p.m.
- Play-by-play: Sean McDonough
- Color analyst: Jon Gruden
- Sideline reporter: Lisa Salters
The Panthers (1-3), who dropped the last two games, will also be without star quarterback and last year’s league MVP Cam Newton because of a concussion after he suffered a head injury during the Week 4 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Newton was unable to take part in practice throughout the week due to restrictions from the league’s concussion protocol and has a result, he was ruled out of playing Monday night.
With Newton out, veteran Derek Anderson will be handed the starting place at quarterback after a week of preparation with the first team.
Anderson replaced the shook up Newton in the fourth quarter against the Falcons and went 17 of 23 on completed passes for 172 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
There is no doubt that Carolina will be missing their leader, but the hosts are relishing the challenge of battling without him in Monday Night Football.
“I like coaching with a challenge in mind,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said ahead of the clash.
It will be the third missed game by Newton since he was drafted in 2011.
Interestingly, the other two previous occasions were also against the Buccaneers, with Anderson picking up wins both times.
“We’ve done this before,” Rivera said. “I expect our guys to come out and play, and play with energy and play to their abilities.
“We have a lot of faith in the guys replacing the guys that aren’t playing.
“It is that next-man-up mentality. We’ve done it before. We’ve proven it.”
Meanwhile, like Carolina, the Buccaneers and young quarterback Jameis Winston are also on a rough patch in recent weeks and need to start putting together a run if they are to make the playoffs.
Tampa Bay has dropped it last three games and was held to just seven points in two of those treble outings.
Ahead of the clash, the Bucs are reporting that defensive end Robert Ayers is ‘doubtful’ for the game, while running back Charles Sims is on injured reserve.
NFL Monday Night Football
Monday, October 10
Tampa Bay at Carolina 8:30 PM ESPN, WatchESPN