Sept. 11, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker (52) Jon Beason is tended to by trainers after suffering an injury against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Panthers' Defensive Stars Beason, Gamble Doubtful for Seahawks Game

MLB Jon Beason and CB Chris Gamble are both listed as “Doubtful” for the home game against the Seahawks in the latest injury report. Here’s the full list:*

Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Frank Alexander DE Back Full Participation in Practice Probable
Antwan Applewhite DE Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jon Beason LB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Chris Gamble CB Shoulder Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Geoff Hangartner G Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Colin Jones S Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mike Pollak G Shoulder Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out

Seattle’s injury list:*

Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Jaye Howard DT Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Marshawn Lynch RB Not Injury Related Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brandon Mebane DT Calf Full Participation in Practice Probable
John Moffitt G Knee Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Marcus Trufant CB Back Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Comparing the two teams, we see that Seattle is healthier overall entering the game, and that the Panthers are missing two key players on defense. Beason is the heart of the defense with his experience and All-Pro past. While rookie Luke Kuechly is very well-equipped to play the middle, he’s still a rookie. I think the MLB spot is his natural position since that’s the slot he so aptly held down in his days at Boston College, but he has a lot of seasoning to do on the pro level.

Chris Gamble is the top player in a very thin secondary. While the Panthers do have some bright-looking young corners like Josh Norman and Josh Thomas, they aren’t up to the task of filling such big shoes yet. Captain Munnerlyn is left as the most experienced corner but has taken his share of criticism for giving up big plays.

Add that to the fact that Seattle has a very accomplished running attack of their own with Marshawn “the Beast” Lynch running, and Kuechly really will have his hands full.

The only soft spot I see with Seattle is that DT Jaye Howard is out and DT Brandon Mebane seems to be just coming off a calf problem. The Seahawks’ defense could have issues in the center of that line with their rotation and if Carolina is able to keep the game close, they should be pounding away on the inside in an attempt to hit them where they’re the most vulnerable. This defense doesn’t have many vulnerabilities so the Panthers look to take advantage of anything they can.

I still say the first team to 15 points wins this one.

* – Injury lists provided by NFL.com

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