Funchess caught both his targets for 20 yards in Sunday's season opener versus the 49ers.
Funchess actually led Carolina's receivers by featuring for 67 percent of the offensive snaps, but his production level was around what's become expected of him. The third-year pro has proven capable of moving the sticks on occasion, but the addition of Christian McCaffrey only figures to push Funchess down the pecking order for targets, which still prominently features Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen to boot.
Funchess caught two passes for 21 yards on two targets in Thursday's preseason game against Jacksonville.
Funchess seems to be locked in as the starter opposite Kelvin Benjamin, but the third-year pro doesn't figure to have a high-volume role while playing in an offense reliant on Benjamin and Greg Olsen, not to mention the triple rushing threat provided by Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey. Unimpressive thus far, Funchess has hauled in four of six targets for only 33 yards through three preseason games, losing a fumble along the way.
Funchess caught just 1-of-3 passes for eight yards and lost a fumble in Saturday's preseason Week 2 loss to the Titans.
Funchess coughed up the football on his team's first play from scrimmage, setting the tone for a disastrous first quarter in which Carolina managed just 39 yards and was outscored 17-0. He failed to grab either of his two subsequent targets, finishing with fewer receiving yards than six teammates. The 2015 second-rounder continues to serve as the starter opposite Kelvin Benjamin, but he's done little to earn that role so far.
Unimpressive through two seasons, the 2015 second-round selection received public votes of confidence from team brass this summer, though Carolina's offseason transactions tell another story. Funchess may be the favorite to enter Week 1 as the team's No. 2 receiver, but he'll still have to fend off Russell Shepard and second-round rookie Curtis Samuel (hamstring) for playing time in an offense that hasn't relied on three-wide sets nearly as often as the average team in today's NFL.
Funchess didn't exactly make a strong case for a larger workload last season when he hauled in only 23 of 59 targets (39 percent) in 15 games, though he did produce 16.1 yards per catch and four touchdowns. He's still the favorite for the No. 2 wideout job, but the Panthers probably wouldn't have used their first two draft picks on pass-catching back Christian McCaffrey and slot receiver Curtis Samuel if they had confidence Funchess -- a 2015 second-round selection -- were about to emerge as a major weapon. Part of the problem may be that Funchess' skill set is somewhat redundant alongside Kelvin Benjamin's, as neither offers much speed and both are among the league's largest wide receivers. Funchess suffered a minor ankle injury during the offseason program, but he participated in mandatory minicamp in mid-June and should be at full health for training camp.
|4||10/1/17||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|