By Ted Fleming
When the Panthers take the field for their Monday Night Football tilt with the Eagles (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.) they are not only favored to win but they could quite possibly come away with just their third victory of the 2012 campaign.
After starting the season 3-1, Philadelphia has been going in the opposite direction losing their last six. There might have been an indication that a bad season was on the horizon because those three victories came by a grand total of four points.
The Eagles have a pair of offensive starters out and it begins with quarterback Michael Vick. Even with him in the lineup the Eagles have had a hard time putting the ball in the end zone despite some relative decent numbers where they are middle of the pack in yards, passing and rushing. They have the second worst offense in the entire league scoring just 16.2 points per game.
Rookie Nick Foles steps in for the second straight game after a rather inauspicious first career start where he threw a couple of picks and completed just 45% of his passes in a crushing loss against the Redskins.
Running back LeSean McCoy will also sit this one out for the same reason Vick will, a concussion. Not only with the Eagles have a rookie under center, another first year player will likely line up behind him with Bryce Brown taking over for McCoy.
On the other side of the ball the Panthers are nicked up but other than backup defensive end Antwan Applewhite who will miss his fifth straight, everyone is ready to go. Recently signed guard Jeff Bridges, who has not played in a game all year, will likely be in good enough shape to see time on the right side as head coach Ron Rivera tries to get more protection for quarterback Cam Newton. That means Garry Williams will see his playing time greatly reduced.
CAROLINA PANTHERS, 2-8 (** denotes starter):
DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring)
** LB James Anderson (back), ** LB Thomas Davis (not injury related), ** DT Dwan Edwards (not injury related), ** DT Ron Edwards (not injury related), ** T Jordan Gross (not injury related), ** C Geoff Hangartner (knee), ** DE Greg Hardy (illness), S Colin Jones (head), LB Jordan Senn (ankle), ** WR Steve Smith (finger)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 3-7 (** denotes starter):
WR Jason Avant (hamstring), ** RB LeSean McCoy (concussion), RB Chris Polk (toe), ** QB Michael Vick (concussion)
WR Riley Cooper (knee), ** DT Cullen Jenkins (foot, ankle), G Danny Watkins (ankle)
FOR REFERENCE –
Out: there is no chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Doubtful: a 25% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Questionable: a 50% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Probable: a 75% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Panthers news, see CBS Sports Charlotte
Ted Fleming is a freelance writer covering all things Carolina Panthers. His work can be found on Examiner.com.