Former USC receiver Damiere Byrd pulled-in two touchdown receptions from Joe Webb and the Carolina Panthers used those scores en route to a 27-17 preseason opening win over the Houston Texans Wednesday night at Bank Of America Stadium.
Byrd’s receptions covered 50 and eight yards in the second and third quarters, respectively.
Kelvin Benjamin had Carolina’s other touchdown on a 23-yard reception from Derek Anderson in the opening quarter.
Anderson started in place of Cam Newton, who was sidelined as he continues to recover from a sore shoulder.
Houston’s DeShaun Watson (Clemson), the Texans’ first round pick in this past spring’s NFL Draft, made his unofficial pro debut, coming on in the second quarter and throwing for 179 yards on 15-25 passing with no touchdowns or interceptions. Watson also carried three times for 24 yards and a 15-yard touchdown run.
The Panthers’ top draft Christian McCaffrey carred seven times for 37 yards in his preseason debut.
The Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson, Daniel HS) had two receptions in the game.
The Panthers return to their Wofford Training Camp Friday for a 3:10pm practice.
They conclude camp following a Sunday morning work-out.