This weekend the Panthers play conference rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I will be at Bank of America Stadium again this weekend, and I’m just ecstatic. Not only do I have a gut feeling that the Panthers have a shot at winning, I have a gut feeling that they might actually win this matchup. I don’t know what it is that makes me feel like we’re going to win, I just do. The Panthers will see their revenge though, and hopefully embarrass the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A few things happened over the past week that could affect the Panthers coming into this matchup. We all know that Special Teams Coordinator Brian Murphy was fired this week, and his assistant will be replacing him for the time being. Besides the firing of Brian Murphy, a few things also happened as well. The Panthers signed veteran Offensive Lineman Jeremy Bridges. Bridges was a former Panther who was let go a few seasons back, but has now returned to bring support to our struggling O-Line. As the time seems right for Bridges, it doesn’t seem to be panning out that way for fourth string Wide Receiver Armanti Edwards. Edwards sat out during Thursday’s practice with a groin injury he suffered during the previous day’s practice.
Though it’s terrible for Armanti to injure himself after he just now started getting more playing time, it opens a gate for unproven rookie wide out Joe Adams. Adams, who has sat every game since he fumbled the ball twice against the New York Giants in week three, might get his chance to redeem himself against the Buccaneers, if Armanti’s injury is more serious than coaches currently believe. Ron Rivera told the Official Panthers website that, “I have really tried to pay close attention to (Joe), and he’s doing a lot of work, he’s put his nose to the grindstone,” Rivera said. “He’s stayed after practice and he’s been very diligent catching (punts).” Armanti handled the kickoff returns and not the punt returns, but his absence would open up room for Joe. As for the kickoff returns David Gettis and Adams will both be considered if Armanti is out for the game.
That’s great news for the young receiver whose chances are going to be few and far between in the first half of this season. I personally cannot wait for the game this weekend, a game where we should see more action through the air, since the Buccaneers have the worst Pass Defense in the league. Fantasy owners, start Brandon LaFell…