Head coach Ron Rivera indicated Carolina was "moving forward" when the team decided to sit Funchess for the regular-season finale last month. Now scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Funchess appears to have played his last snaps for the Panthers. The tall-but-slow wideout (Funchess owns 4.70-second time in the 40-yard dash) wasn't the best fit in an offense that prioritizes yards after the catch anyway, so this development could be mutually beneficial.
Funchess (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Saints, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports.
Funchess' snap and targets counts have been trending down for the last month, but it's still somewhat surprising that he's a health scratch for the season finale. It almost certainly spells an end to his stint in Carolina, as Funchess will become a free agent in March and is unlikely to be retained after youngsters D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel passed him up on the depth chart at receiver this season.
Funchess caught two of four targets for 23 yards during Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Falcons.
Funchess was an afterthought in the passing game, finishing sixth on the team in targets and fifth in receiving yardage. Oddly enough this was actually a step up for Funchess, who hadn't caught a pass since Week 13 and has just one grab over his last three games. Funchess' fantasy value has clearly waned as the season has gone along and he'll hope to finish on a positive note next Sunday against the Saints.
Funchess was held without a catch while being targeted once in Monday's 12-9 loss to the Saints.
Funchess' lone look was actually intercepted, as quarterback Cam Newton unsuccessfully attempted to give him a shot on a jump ball along the sideline of the end zone in the second quarter's waning moments. Besides that, Funchess played just 11 offensive snaps, continuing his spare use in recent weeks and furthering the sentiment that he likely isn't a part of Carolina's plans beyond this season.
Funchess failed to catch any of his three targets in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Browns.
Funchess played just under 40 percent of Carolina's offensive plays in his second week since returning from a back injury. In contrast, rookie D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel both played over 90 percent of the snaps, and veteran Jarius Wright even saw more action than Funchess. To make matters worse, Funchess didn't look back for the ball on one of his few targets Sunday. Clearly out of sync while the Panthers have slid down the standings, Funchess' value sits at a season low ahead of Week 15's game versus the Saints.
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