The return of linebacker Jon Beason from an Achilles injury is a key to the Panthers defense this season.
Beason missed all of last year and Carolina’s defense suffered in his absence. Getting him back is reason to believe the Panthers can build on last year’s gains and challenge for a playoff spot.
Once you know all that, losing Beason for part of Wednesday’s practice because of an achy hamstring is obviously concerning. Beason hurt his hamstring during practice and then skipped the team’s evening walkthrough while receiving treatment. There’s no word on his prognosis, but the Charlotte Observer reports that the Panthers still hope that Beason can play on Saturday against the Texans.
Although you can understand the desire to get Beason back into game action, pushing him so soon after even a minor tweak would be surprising. Hamstring issues can linger and they can get worse. Beason’s importance to the defense is such that the team needs to do whatever it can to ensure he’s on the field for the regular season and that means avoiding the risks that you can avoid without hurting your team. If that means pushing back Beason’s preseason debut, so be it.