Wide receiver Curtis Samuel's rookie year is over.
"They weren't very optimistic", Rivera said.
A second-round pick in the 2017 National Football League draft out of Ohio State, Samuel caught a career-high five passes for 45 yards in the first half against the Dolphins before the injury. He had only 10 catches for 70 yards before Monday night.
"There were a lot of good things", offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Tuesday. Speedy second-year wideout Damiere Byrd (broken forearm) is eligible to come off injured reserve before the December 3 game at New Orleans. ". We're going to try hard to find ways to put guys in what they do best and then have them go do it". He should be ready for the November 26 game against the New York Jets.
Shula said rookie running back Christian McCaffrey also could help fill in for Samuel in the Panthers' new-look offense, which emphasizes shorter, quicker-hitting passes to get the ball out of Cam Newton's hands faster.
As a junior at Ohio State in 2016, Samuel was used as the Buckeyes' H-Back. Samuel had five receptions for 45 yards against Miami.
Curtis Samuel #10 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a play against the Miami Dolphins during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Guys came in and did their job, knew their assignments.