Matt Corral Injury

Rookie quarterback Matt Corral was slated to start the second and fourth quarters for the Panthers, with PJ Walker taking the field in the first two quarters. The fourth quarter was a struggle for Corral, as they only managed to complete two series.

Corral injured his left foot and had to be helped off the field; he did not come back.

After hurting his left foot, the Panthers’ rookie quarterback sat out the final two series of their 20-10 preseason loss to the Patriots. After having X-rays when he came off the field, Corral did not address the media after the game. He put on a walking boot and limped out of the changing room.

Corral’s opening series was the best of the night, as he completed passes to both tight ends Tommy Tremble and wide receiver Shi Smith. As the game progressed, Corral faced difficult situations, such as when the Panthers were backed up inside their 5-yard line with less than five minutes remaining.

Even though Corral only completed two passes on his last drive before his late injury, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule saw the “teaching moments” for his rookie quarterback.

The workouts were really helpful for Matt, according to Rhule. “There will be times when he has to lead a drive out of the end zone, with the crowd like that, putting players in the huddle, making sure they understand the snap count, and making sure we’re not false starting,” the coach said.

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Coach Matt Rhule discusses the Patriots’ performance. Still, Corral’s offense failed to score on either of its drives. He ended the night with a 9-for-15 throwing performance for 58 yards.

The strategy to play Corral and PJ Walker in alternating quarters in order to rest starters allowed Corral to play in the second and fourth quarters against New England. Walker took the field at first and third base while Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold stood fully attired on the sidelines.

To score their lone point, Walker directed a nine-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a Zane Gonzalez field goal from 27 yards out.

On the day, Walker completed 8 passes out of 15 attempts for 107 yards and two interceptions. Another Patriots touchdown was set up by his fumble in the end zone, and his second interception didn’t come until the fourth quarter. Four times he was taken out of the game for being a liability.

Walker admitted, “(There were) two terrible tosses that got away from me.” “I can’t afford those awful plays right now.”

In spite of his night ending early, Corral still finished with more completions than Walker, though not as many long plays. Five of his completions were for 10 yards or more, while Corral’s final pass to Ra’Shaun Henry was only 12 yards long.

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In the two combined sessions held in New England this week, neither Corral nor Walker saw extensive playing time. The game at Gillette Stadium was planned as a way to see both quarterbacks develop rapport with their receiving corps, none of whom were expected to make the initial varsity squad. Rhule, however, argued that evenings like Friday are essential for a quarterback like Corral to progress in the league.

We don’t want to make things easy for him just because he’s a two or a three, Rhule added. “We want to provide them with stages upon which they can demonstrate their abilities and say, “Hey, I can play for you.” So, (we are) setting them up for success when the time comes. Matt accomplished a lot of great things, and the video is full of useful information.”

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