Panthers Missing Key Players For Trip To Miami
By Danny Cox
With a huge victory last week and a six-game winning streak, the Carolina Panthers are on a streaking path toward this year’s playoffs. If they want to win the NFC South though, they’ve got to continue winning so they can keep up with the New Orleans Saints who swept the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.
This week, the Panthers travel to take on the Miami Dolphins, who have been up and down this season, but still have the ability to win the big games. Even though Miami has struggled greatly at times, the Panthers cannot take them lightly.
Not only will Carolina have to focus on things and not relax this week because they think it will be an easy game, but others will have to step up. This is due to a number of injuries taking out some important players on both sides of the ball.
On offense, backup tight end Ben Hartsock will be out again as he’s still suffering from a knee injury. Greg Olsen is healthy and will be in the starting lineup with Richie Brockel coming in as a backup or in two tight end sets.
Starting right guard Chris Scott will also be out again as his knee is still acting up. He did not practice at all this week and it was known from the start that he just wouldn’t be in this week against the Dolphins. Travis Bond and Geoff Hangartner will likely rotate at right guard this week.
Defensively, two starters are going to be out and that is nothing to take lightly.
Linebacker Chase Blackburn’s foot is still giving him enough trouble that he won’t be starting this week. Jordan Senn will likely get the start at weakside linebacker and be backed up by Jason Williams. Dan Connor will back up middle linebacker Luke Kuchly.
Along the defensive line, left end Charles Johnson won’t be starting either as his knee has held him out of practice all week. Frank Alexander is looking to get the start along the line and Mario Addison could likely see some playing time as well.
Cornerback Drayton Florence (groin) and defensive end Greg Hardy (knee) are listed as probable, but they practiced all week and will be in the starting lineup.
Well, the list is not exceptionally long, but those are some big-time names that will be walking the sideline for the Panthers this weekend. Players that step up in place of the injured starters need to put it all out there and play at their best because this just smells of the ultimate trap game.
- LB Chase Blackburn – Foot
- TE Ben Hartsock – Knee
- DE Charles Johnson – Knee
- OG Chris Scott – Knee
- CB Drayton Florence – Groin
- DE Greg Hardy – Knee
For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.