Hayden Hurst Panthers pic

Why did the Panthers keep Hayden Hurst out last season?


In 2023, the Carolina Panthers had a league-worst record of 2-15. It was a disastrous season for the team and one they’d like to forget. During Week 10 of 2023, TE Hayden Hurst suffered a concussion and proceeded to miss the rest of the season. That caused concern for Hurst moving forward.

However, the 30-year-old recently cleared that all up with the media of his new team, the Los Angeles Chargers. Hurst signed with the team a few weeks ago and shared details about his 2023 campaign early. He explained that the Panthers felt there was no need to rush him back due to the team’s poor record. Interesting that Hurst could have potentially returned and the team said he did not need to play. Why would the Panthers do that?

What was the point of keeping Hayden Hurst out when he could have helped the team?

Ahead of the 2023 season, Hayden Hurst inked a three-year, $21.75 million deal with the Panthers. The veteran TE was expected to be a reliable target for rookie QB and #1 overall pick, Bryce Young. However, Carolina struggled offensively in 2023 and it was a forgettable season. In Week 10, TE Hayden Hurst suffered a concussion in a loss to the Bears. At the time, the team was 1-8 and was trying to find consistency within the franchise.

Unfortunately, Hayden Hurst missed Carolina’s final eight games of the 2023 season. In early March, Hurst was released by the Panthers after just one season. The veteran TE didn’t have to wait long to find his new home. Hurst is now a member of the Chargers who will have a new look under head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2024. Recently, Hurst spoke with Chargers media and shared details about what happened in 2023 with his concussion.

The former first-round pick explained that his concussion symptoms were touch-and-go for about a week or so after playing the Bears. Hurst noted that he went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and got a second opinion. He was cleared fully by doctors but the team decided to keep Hurst out. Carolina didn’t believe it was necessary to rush Hurst back with their poor record. Regardless, Hurst quickly bounced back after being released by the Panthers. He’s now a member of the Chargers and will be one of two main TEs for Justin Herbert to throw to. Former Seahawks TE Will Dissly also joined the team this offseason.



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