CAROLINA — The Carolina Panthers continue to push the pace, but it’s a slow grind.
That was the message from their third-round pick in the 2018 draft, Connor Cook, as the Panthers continued their season-long quest to be a playoff contender and win the NFC South.
Cook is coming off his first start of the season, which came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 2.
After the game, the rookie quarterback told reporters he didn’t expect much to come of the performance, saying he felt fine.
He also noted that he hasn’t missed a game since 2015, when he was drafted by the Panthers.
Cook’s teammates believe his play is a sign that he has gotten better.
The Panthers are in a tough spot when it comes to their quarterback position, with rookie Cam Newton being on a six-game suspension and veteran Cam Newton, who has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for much of his career, suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season.
After a 2-4 start to the season and a 2:24 mark of the third quarter in their Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers, Newton’s suspension was lifted in late October.
Carolina is expected to be in position to make the playoffs this season.
With Newton suspended, Carolina’s starting quarterback, Luke McCown, will have to carry the load as the team tries to win the division and potentially earn a wild-card berth in the playoffs.
The Panthers are 5-2 with McCown under center.
The team is currently riding a three-game losing streak, but McCown’s return could help the team get back on track.
The second-year quarterback threw for a career-high 304 yards in his first game back and threw for an NFL-high three touchdowns.