Carolina acquired veteran defensive end Jared Allen from Chicago on Monday in exchange for a 2016 sixth-round draft pick, pending a physical exam.
The Panthers made the move after their top pass rusher, Charles Johnson, suffered a hamstring injury of unspecified severity during Sunday's 27-22 win over New Orleans. He has been ruled out of this week's game at Tampa Bay. The Panthers lost their other top pass rusher, Greg Hardy, in the off-season when he signed with Dallas.
NFL executive defends referee
Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said referee Ed Hochuli insists he never told Carolina quarterback Cam Newton that he "wasn't old enough" to get a personal foul call during Sunday's game against New Orleans. "Ed was adamant that he did not say that," Blandino told the NFL Network. "He told me that he said [to Newton] that 'the difference is you were running.'"
Newton called out the veteran referee after Carolina's 27-22 win. He felt a personal foul should have been called on Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davison for hitting him out of bounds. TV replays show Newton having a brief conversation with Hochuli after the play, and the quarterback reacted at one point with surprise before breaking into a wide, disbelieving smile. "The response I got was, 'Cam, you're not old enough to get that call,' " Newton said after the game.
Tomlin confident in Vick
A day after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a left knee injury against St. Louis, the Pittsburgh Steelers said he is expected back at some point in 2015. Coach Mike Tomlin did not offer a timetable for Roethlisberger to return from a sprained medial collateral ligament, saying only that it will be "a number of weeks." Tomlin also expressed confidence that 35-year-old backup Michael Vick can keep one of the league's most dynamic offenses humming while Roethlisberger is out, starting Thursday against Baltimore.
New look in Denver
Denver Coach Gary Kubiak and quarterback Peyton Manning have reached an apparent compromise with a switch to the "pistol" offense. The set allows the 39-year-old Manning to line up in shotgun formation, which he prefers so he can keep his eyes on the defense. But it also stations a running back directly behind him, which Kubiak, who likes his quarterback to line up under center, regards as essential for maximizing the effectiveness of play-action. "I want to get Peyton as comfortable as I possibly can," Kubiak said. "We're still trying to maintain some balance formation-wise."