Gilbert was waived by the Panthers on Monday. Gilbert lost the backup QB job in preseason but rejoined the Panthers ahead of Sunday's season finale, and was forced into action after Kyle Allen (shoulder) exited the game. With its season now over, Carolina decided it didn't need a fourth quarterback with Allen, Cam Newton (shoulder) and Taylor Heinicke (elbow) already on the roster.
Gilbert completed two of three passes for 40 yards during Sunday's 33-14 win over New Orleans. Gilbert came into the game in the fourth quarter after rookie Kyle Allen was knocked out with a shoulder injury. He promptly lofted a pass to rookie Ian Thomas in the flat for a 31-yards catch-and-run. Gilbert just re-signed with Carolina a few days ago after an injury to No. 2 quarterback Taylor Heinicke (elbow). Sunday's spot performance likely doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, particularly with how well Allen played against a resting Saints squad, but does mark a nice return to the Panthers for the second-year passer out of SMU.
The Panthers signed Gilbert to a contract Wednesday, Max Henson of the team's official site reports. Gilbert lost out on the Panthers' backup job to Taylor Heinicke at the conclusion of the preseason but will now take his spot on the 53-man roster after Heinicke was moved to injured reserve due to an elbow issue. With Cam Newton (shoulder) still on the roster but not expected to be available for the season finale Sunday against the Saints, Gilbert is in line to serve as the understudy to Kyle Allen, who was promoted from Carolina's practice squad a week earlier.
Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke are neck-and-neck in competition for the Panthers' No. 2 quarterback job, the team's official site reports. Gilbert played before Heinicke in Carolina's opening exhibition outing, but the timing of their introductions was switched for Friday's game versus the Dolphins. After watching Heinicke lead the team to one touchdown while throwing an interception during his five-series stint, Gilbert engineered a six-play, 61-yard scoring drive on his lone possession before taking a knee to end the game on the only play of his second. Overall, he's completed 10 of 17 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown so far this preseason, keeping him right in the race to be named Cam Newton's understudy for the regular season.
Gilbert was held out of Monday's practice due to an illness, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. As the third-string signal caller for the Panthers, Gilbert's illness wouldn't normally be anything noteworthy, but his health is of more importance with top backup Derek Anderson also being held out of Monday's session while he was under the weather. The Panthers will keep both quarterbacks away from the team while the two remain contagious, but head coach Ron Rivera is hopeful that at least one of the two will be healthy enough to back up Cam Newton by the time Sunday's game against the Jets arrives.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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