After missing the entire preseason due to an ankle injury, Jon Beason finally practiced today and said that he expects to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in the team’s season opener.
Beason only practiced on a limited basis today at practice but the starting middle linebacker and the heart and soul of the defense seemed to be pretty optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday, according to Carolina Growl.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Beason said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “It’s going to be a process and everything is geared toward Sunday. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to try my best.”
If Beason is able to return that would be a huge boost for the Panthers and the defense. The defense has not looked very good so far this preseason and having Jon Beason back manning the middle would go a long way for this defense.
– In another note, head coach Ron Rivera says that he believes that Darious Butler, the recently claimed cornerback from the New England Patirots, will play on Sunday. Butler practiced for the first time today with the team and should have a chance to make a big impact on a position that is very thin for the Panthers.
“The biggest thing Darius has is top-end speed – he’s a 4.3 guy, and that’s always intriguing to find,” Rivera said. “Secondly, he’s got long arms – a long-armed corner that plays very physical.