Falcons defensive back Kendall Sheffield was taken out on the first play. Adding insult to his injury, it was teammate Keanu Neal who took him out.
Neal inadvertently hit Sheffield while breaking up a pass intended for DJ Moore.
Sheffield is questionable to return. He is being evaluated for a possible head injury.
The Panthers scored a touchdown on their opening drive, benefitting from an 8-yard pass interference penalty on Isaiah Oliver and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Deion Jones for a shoulder shot to Teddy Bridgewater. The defensive penalties came on back-to-back plays.
Curtis Samuel‘s 12-yard touchdown run gave the Panthers a 7-3 lead.
The Falcons settled for a chip-shot field goal after reaching the Carolina 4. They faced a fourth-and-one, calling a timeout before opting to have Younghoe Koo kick the 20-yard field goal.
Julio Jones already has four catches for 85 yards.