Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is anxious to see if former University of Akron standout Domenik Hixon or Armanti Edwards can step up and be the team’s third wide receiver.
He’ll begin to find out this Sunday, when the Panthers visit the Buffalo Bills.
Rivera said Hixon and Edwards are fully recovered from their hamstring injuries and will be active this week, along with Ted Ginn Jr., who worked as the team’s No. 3 receiver last week against Seattle but caught just one pass for 10 yards.
Hixon didn’t play last week against Seattle and Edwards was limited to one play.
The Panthers are in need of more weapons to complement five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen after being limited to 119 net yards passing in the 12-7 loss to the Seahawks.
Hixon, an eight-year NFL veteran, entered training camp as the favorite to win the job behind starting Smith and Brandon LaFell.
The Panthers signed the former New York Giant to fill the No. 3 receiver spot after losing wide receiver Louis Murphy via free agency. But Hixon has struggled with hamstring issues since the middle of August and only appeared in one preseason game.
Hixon said he was ready to play last Sunday and was “disappointed” the Panthers decided to be cautious and deactivate him.
“I felt ready to go last week and I’m ready to go this week,” said Hixon, who caught 39 passes for 567 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Giants.
“I feel like I can help this offense, so I’m real anxious. Whatever role they ask me to play, I’m willing to play for them.”
Patriots 13, Jets 10
Tom Brady threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson on the game’s first series before both offenses played as sloppily as the second-half weather, and the New England Patriots got by the New York Jets on Thursday night.
Brady had trouble connecting with his rookie-filled receiving corps, while Jets rookie Geno Smith was repeatedly sacked when he took too much time to throw.
The Patriots (2-0) managed just nine first downs and 234 yards after leading the NFL in points and yards last season.
The Jets (1-1) cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter. But Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter.
Romo playing hurt
Tony Romo played through broken ribs to help keep the season afloat for Dallas in 2011.
The injury isn’t as serious this time, which means the task doesn’t appear as daunting for the Cowboys quarterback.
Romo has bruised ribs after he was crunched between two defenders late in the first half of a 36-31 win over the New York Giants in the opener. He played the second half and says he’s just dealing with soreness heading into Sunday’s game at Kansas City.
Romo was 36-of-49 for 263 yards with two touchdowns to Jason Witten and an interception in the opener.
Around the league
The New York Giants were awarded linebacker Allen Bradford off waivers and placed linebacker Dan Connor on injured reserve with a neck problem. Connor was signed by the Giants as a free agent. The former Dallas Cowboy beat out Mark Herzlich for the starting job in training camp, but he suffered a stinger in the preseason finale against New England and re-injured it Sunday. New York also signed wide receiver Marcus Harris to its practice squad and terminated the contract of tackle Steven Baker. … The New Orleans Saints signed defensive end Jay Richardson to bolster their defensive line following a left knee injury to end Tyrunn Walker. Coach Sean Payton said they waived receiver Andy Tanner to make room for Richardson, a former Ohio State standout.