Legendary Bills quarterback Jim Kelly will have a follow-up procedure as he continues to recover from oral cancer.
Kelly had a massive surgery in March to reconstruct his upper jaw, but he will have another in June to stabilize it. According to Kelly’s wife, there might be another procedure in September.
Update… Went to NYC yesterday for a checkup and moving forward, strategy meeting. The doctors were very impressed with how much Jim has healed since he’s been home. Praise God! The plan at this point is that he will have surgery in mid-June to lesson the “skin flap” bulk in his mouth, as well as put implants into his upper jaw. And then there will be more healing and waiting and then another surgery and possibly upper teeth sometime in September.
It’s the second resurgence of Kelly’s oral cancer. He was originally diagnosed with the disease in 2013, undergoing months of radiation and chemotherapy before being declared in remission.
The Panthers have only six matchups on the schedule against playoff teams from last season, but they also got stuck with the three teams from the NFC (Seahawks, Cowboys, Lions) that just missed the postseason at 9-7.
Toughest tests: Other than the four sure-to-be brutal matchups against the Saints and Falcons, the Panthers’ toughest game in 2018 likely will be their road matchup against the defending Super Bowl-champion Eagles. Philadelphia is coming back with a roster that features many of the same players from its title team, and the fact that it’s in Philly just adds to the degree of difficulty.
Biggest breaks: The Panthers quietly have built a bit of a rivalry with the Seahawks. The most recent matchup left something to be desired, as Seattle demolished Carolina at home, 40-7. The Seahawks will look different this year, though, and are coming off a year in which they missed the postseason. It still will be a tough matchup, but Carolina getting to play Seattle at home should make a big difference for the Panthers.