Beason misses another day, but Rivera doesn’t want to tinker

Getty Images

The Panthers feel like they’re four-deep for their three-linebacker defense, but they may start the fifth or sixth guy anyway.

According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, middle linebacker Jon Beason (shoulder, knee) was held out of practice for a second straight day.

But while first-round pick and weakside starter Luke Kuechly is viewed as the middle linebacker of the future, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said reserve Jason Phillips would start in Beason’s place if he can’t go in Atlanta Sunday.

Rivera said he didn’t want to move Kuechly inside unless Beason’s absence was going to be a longer one.

While that indicates Beason’s problem isn’t serious, it also speaks to the reality of his condition. A year removed from a torn Achilles, Beason’s still working to get to 100 percent, and may not complete that journey this season (as evidenced by the two-years-until-he’s-right timeline of Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans).

Along with Thomas Davis, whose thrice-torn-ACL knee is fine but has battled a calf and hamstring issues since camp, the Panthers have a pair of talented linebackers who aren’t quite full-timers. Davis has been used mostly on third downs, while they hold their breath and see if he holds together.

So the choice is, apparently, to leave Kuechly in the spot he’s worked at all summer, in hopes of him playing a more comfortable and fluid game.

6 responses to “Beason misses another day, but Rivera doesn’t want to tinker

  1. I think the knee might still be bothering him. If you can’t go, don’t go Beason. Our defense suffered tremendously last season. I love Keuchly but Beason is our leader and our clean-up guy.

  2. i’m beginning to wonder if beason might be about done playing ball. it’s been nothing but injuries for 2 years straight, and when he has been on the field he’s looked out of shape and a step or 2 behind. that poor tackling against the giants running back the other night surprised me when i saw #52 on the back of his jersey.

  3. Ron Rivera may lose his job already. A team that had so much promise is playing like a dud. They looked totally out of sync Riveras face that whole game was of disgust and hopelessness. I hope he can get a grip on this team or they’ll sink faster than the titanic.

  4. After the Cats lose to Atlanta this weekend, Panther fans are going to be thinking of George Seifert and 2001.

    Perhaps Jerry Richardson needs to go back into the burger business because he has sure made some bad football decisions lately… huge contracts to aging and injury-prone players, drafting a potential Vince Young failure in cultural icon and Superman wannabe Cam Newton, and hiring Ron Rivera, who appears to be in over his head as coach.

    I predict a very long season for the Panthers, and I’m starting to think an 6-10 record may be overly optimistic.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!