Panthers forced to turn to undrafted rookies on offensive line

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – David Foucault. Thirty snaps.

That the undrafted rookie out of Canada played half of the offensive snaps in Sunday’s 13-9 loss to Seattle speaks volumes.

The Panthers weren’t counting on Foucault to play that big of a role when they left training camp. He simply was a project with potential that they didn’t want to expose on the practice squad for fear another team would snatch him up.

That the project had to play that many snaps between left and right tackle due to injuries to starters Byron Bell and Nate Chandler says a lot about why Carolina was so inconsistent on offense.

That Andrew Norwell played all 60 snaps due to injuries also is glaring. The undrafted rookie spent the first six games on the inactive list, but with starting left guard Amini Silatolu (calf) out he earned his first career start.

Other things that stood out in the snap count:

  • Rookie Tre Boston, who missed most off offseason workouts and much of training camp because of a sports hernia, played 18 snaps at free safety after starter Thomas DeCoud suffered a hamstring injury. Boston was trailing the tight end on the game-winning 23-yard touchdown catch with 47 seconds remaining.

  • Backup safety Colin Jones got the start at nickel cornerback but played only 14 snaps. James Dockery played 31 snaps. But combined they appeared more effective than veteran Charles Godfrey, released earlier in the week.

  • Cornerback Melvin White, who began the season as the starter opposite Antoine Cason and started last week, didn’t play one defensive snap. His only play came on special teams. Josh Norman, returning from a concussion, replaced White and played every snap.