William Grier, brother to Nash and Hayes Grier, husband to former NFL cheerleader Jeanne Marie O’Neal Grier and one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the West Virginia Mountaineers has been named the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. Grier, who was drafted by the Panthers in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has not seen any action in the regular season, but did throw for 385 yards and two touchdowns during preseason action this year.
The Panthers are turning to their third round rookie because former first round draft pick Cam Newton, who is also a former Florida Gator transfer (Newton transferred to Auburn where he won the 2011 BCS National Championship as a junior), was injured in the second game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. Newton was held out of action the following week with a Lisfranc injury and then on November 5, he was placed on injured reserve, ending his 2019 season.
During Netwon’s time on the injury list, the Panthers and former head coach Ron Rivera turned to undrafted free agent Kyle Allen. Allen, who played at Texas A&M and the University of Houston, started week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals and led the Panthers to a 38-20 victory. In Allen’s first four starts, all victories, he threw seven touchdowns to no interceptions and was sacked 10 times. Since that week 6 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Allen and the Panthers have gone 1-7. Allen has struggled mightily, throwing 10 touchdowns to 15 interceptions in the past 8 games, and has been sacked 35 times.
Grier will get his first start against the Indianapolis Colts, a team that is also struggling. Indianapolis, under 4th year quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who took over as the starter after Andrew Luck announced his surprising retirement in late August. The Colts started out hot, going 5-2 in the first half of the season but have faltered lately, going 1-6 in their last 7 games.
The game will be played on FOX this Sunday at 1 PM. Check your local listings for additional information.