Players echoed Miles and credited their ability to overcome injuries to the work they do in practice and making sure reps are split among players enough that anybody is ready to play come Saturday.
But as players try to build chemistry with those filling in for injured starters, guys said the work they do off the field plays just as big a role as what happens on the field.
“We just got to keep working, especially in the film room with the younger guys,” quarterback Conner Manning said. “I trust them and believe in them. I know they can go out and play, it’s just … they’re young, and they’re a little wide eyed, so we got to get them ready to go and that starts in the film room.”
As the man behind center, Manning has arguably the biggest adjustments to make when players go down. He has already adapted to life without one of his top receivers, but he now is getting accustomed to working without his starting running back and tight end.
One player who can play a big role for Manning and filling holes in the offense as starters continue to get hurt is Glenn Smith.
“He’s the ultimate power tool,” Manning said. “You can put him in the backfield, put him at wide receiver, he can do it all. He’s a tremendous mismatch and a tremendous playmaker for us. We got to keep getting him the ball, definitely in space, because when he gets in space he can make guys miss and turn it into big plays.”
Smith is third on the team in receptions and carries and leads the squad in all-purpose yards thanks to the work he does in the return game.
As the Panthers adjust to seeing some new and younger faces on the field more often, Smith said the starters make sure to stay around the guys filling in for injured players to help boost chemistry.
“Get a little more extra film than normal, and be with us more,” Smith said. “First group normally hangs out with the first group … but get them more involved with us.”