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Jon Beason won’t play Saturday, Luke Kuechly won’t move

Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly AP

Jon Beason’s hamstring is sufficiently strained that he won’t play Saturday night.

But what the Panthers are doing without him’s a bit revealing.

After Ron Rivera announced after practice that Beason would be held out against the Texans, Rivera said Jason Phillips would start in the middle in his place, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.

That means they’re leaving first-round pick Luke Kuechly on the weakside for now.

That tells you a few things. One, they must feel secure enough in Beason’s comebacks from the short-term hammy and the long-term Achilles tear that they don’t want to uproot nearly two weeks of training camp installation. Two, Kuechly’s showing himself in practice to be more active than some had expected.

While the Panthers hoped Beason and Thomas Davis (who isn’t expected to play Saturday either) would return to for this year, they drafted Kuechly ninth overall in case either of them didn’t. Even when healthy, Davis is slated for situational duty this year, clearing the way for Kuechly to play every down on the weakside.

Kuechly may still be a long-term starter in the middle, but they like what they’ve seen so far outside, giving them options.

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4 Responses to “Jon Beason won’t play Saturday, Luke Kuechly won’t move”
  1. keeppounding says: Aug 9, 2012 2:09 PM

    Good Call to rest him. why risk injury in the preseason. Go Panthers!

  2. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 9, 2012 2:32 PM

    Why is it that the media is so anxious for Kuechly to play middle linebacker? When completely healthy Beason is probably the second best middle linebacker in the NFC behind Patrick Willis. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  3. blacknole08 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:41 PM

    I hope Beason is ready for opening weekend. Our defense suffered tremendously once he went down in Week 1 last season.

    Luckily for us, Cam progressed faster than expected and had a breakout year. Kuechly is our future in the middle but Beason is our enforcer on defense and leader. Pair them up with James Anderson and we have a really good LB core.

    I like our chances in the NFC South this season.

  4. pilot2011 says: Aug 9, 2012 3:17 PM

    I can assure you that Jon Beason is the long term middle linebacker for the Carolina panthers

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