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The injuries just keep coming

16 December 2009 Leave a comment

The Panthers have placed RT Jeff Otah on injured reserve, ending his season.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that your team is going to be one of the unfortunate ones to suffer through an injury-ridden season, and you have to accept the fact that your team will not perform up to the standard that you had set for them at the beginning of training camp.

I knew it was a bad sign when Ma’ake Kemoeatu went down on the first day of training camp (the first day!) with a season ending ACL injury, but I never would have imagined that injuries would have dominated the Panthers this season the way they ruthlessly have.

Take a look at this list of players:

Ma’ake Kemoeatu
Josh McCown
Louis Leonard
Thomas Davis
Jordan Gross
Jeff Otah
Jake Delhomme
Chris Harris
Charles Godfrey
Deangelo Williams
Julius Peppers1

Do you notice a common thread among these players? These are all players that have missed at least 1 game due to injury this season or have been placed on IR.

This is not just some random group of people — we’re talking about the anchors of the offensive line (Gross and Otah), one half of the most important part of the offense (Williams), and three of the leaders on defense (Peppers, Davis, and Harris) — and not to mention the starting and backup quarterbacks2.

Have the Panthers played up to expectations? No, of course not. But, they have had a lot to deal with this season: poor quarterback play, terrible coaching and game-planning, and key players missing due to injuries. It’s really no surprise that they are 5-8 and out of contention for the playoffs.3

Oh well, there’s always next year I guess.

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1 – Peppers didn’t miss any games due to injury, but he was only available on obvious passing situations (ie – 3rd and long) for two weeks because of a broken hand.

2 – Ok, I will admit this one isn’t that bad, but still — if I’m going to make excuses for why the Panthers suck this year, I might as well milk it as much as I can.

3 – They’re still mathematically alive at this point, but a lot has to happen for them to sneak in the back door and take the 6 seed — so much that I don’t see it happening and have prepared myself to jump on a bandwagon once the playoffs start.

Delhomme’s finger mystery revealed

2 December 2009 Leave a comment

We all knew that Jake suffered a broken finger at some point in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, but no one knew the exact finger that was broken. Until now.

According to Rotoworld, John Fox has stated that Delhomme suffered a broken middle finger on his right hand, and because of the injury we will finally get to see Matt Moore in action against the Buccaneers this Sunday.

Rotoworld:

Jake Delhomme’s middle finger on his right (throwing) hand is broken. Coach John Fox wanted to keep the exact finger a secret, but now that Delhomme isn’t starting it doesn’t really matter. It’s unclear if the finger will prevent Delhomme from holding a clipboard for the rest of the season.

I seriously hope that Jake is holding a clipboard for the rest of the season, just so we can find out what we have in Matt Moore for the sake of the future. The coaching staff needs to find out what they have for next season, and who they need to target in the draft. So, it makes sense to give Moore the keys to the offense for the rest of the year, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it just yet. I’m sure we will see Jake back in action in 2 weeks when his finger has healed and he’s ready to get back out there and throw games away.

Categories: Player Injuries

Another one bites the dust

25 November 2009 Leave a comment

Sometimes, teams just face seasons where they can’t catch any breaks. That’s been the story for the Panthers this season, fighting off injury after injury in a season that has been well below the team’s (and the fans’) expectations after the 12-4 NFC South Championship season that the team enjoyed in 2008.

The 2009 campaign has been far from what the Panthers wanted it to be. Sitting at 4-6 and on the outside looking in to the NFC playoff picture, this team, already making ends meet with spare parts that were cast away from other clubs during the preseason, couldn’t afford to lose any more depth on special teams or defense.

But, lo and behold, the Panthers have yet again placed a defensive player on injured reserve. This time, the victim is LB Landon Johnson (who was moved up to starting LB after Thomas Davis went down with a season-ending ACL injury earlier this month).

Rotoworld:

Panthers placed LB Landon Johnson (knee sprain) on season-ending injured reserve. Johnson is the second Panthers’ starting WLB lost to injured reserve in three weeks. Dan Connor, last year’s third-round pick, is the favorite to take over for Johnson, though he’s spent much of his time with the Panthers practicing inside. James Anderson is also a candidate.

Hopefully this will be the opportunity to get a look at James Anderson and see what he brings to the table (if for no other reason than to evaluate what the future looks like).

Meanwhile, the Panthers had to replace Johnson on the roster, and to do so, they brought in someone who should already be familiar with Ron Meeks’ Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

Rotoworld:

Panthers signed LB Jordan Senn. Senn spent time with the Colts earlier this season when Gary Brackett was injured. He’ll add depth at linebacker, with Dan Connor and James Anderson needed on the weak side.

I’m not familiar with Senn, but I trust that he is the right player for the position (or the only one left who could even do a respectable job). Hopefully Senn will make an impact on special teams and provide some spark off the bench, and hopefully he will be able to contribute to the roster by doing something that many players haven’t been able to do this season: stay healthy.

I don’t know how this move will work out for the Panthers, but I hope it helps in some way, because at this point in the season the Panthers can’t afford to lose any more bodies.

Jordan Gross broke his leg, not his ankle

23 November 2009 Leave a comment

We all thought that False Start broke his ankle against the Falcons on November 15, but it appears that we were wrong.

According to Rotoworld, he suffered a broken leg, not a broken ankle.

Rotoworld:

Panthers LT Jordan Gross revealed that he actually broke his tibia and fibula in his right leg. It was originally thought that Gross broke his ankle, but that joint was not damaged. He has screws and plates holding his leg together, but this development shouldn’t affect Gross’ timetable for return. The Panthers’ best offensive lineman should still be fine for next season’s training camp.

I don’t know if this is good news or bad news, because in reality False Start is still out for the season. I guess it’s a good thing, otherwise I can’t see the need in it being a story.

Oh no, not another injury

15 November 2009 Leave a comment

UPDATE: It’s official, False Start is on injured reserve.

Rotoworld:

Panthers placed LT Jordan Gross on injured reserve with a broken right ankle, ending his season. Practice squad WR Charly Martin was activated to take Gross’ place. The Panthers signed Gross to a $60M extension through 2014, so he’ll certainly be back at his $4.5 million salary for 2010.

Line play was not the reason for Carolina’s slow start — it was awful run defense and terrible decision making at quarterback. Gross suffered a clean ankle break and had surgery immediately, so the 29-year-old figures to be 100% well before ’10 camp.

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Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it usually does. This time, it happened to Panthers’ OT Jordan Gross, who was carted off the field in today’s game against the Falcons with a right ankle injury.

I knew this one was bad when I saw the play.

The initial reports are that Gross has suffered a broken right ankle, and if that is the case his season will most likely be over. With only 7 games remaining, there is little to no chance that Gross will be able to come back and make any significant contribution to the team if his ankle is broken.

This sucks for the Panthers, who looked today like they were starting to turn the corner and get back on the right track for a late season playoff run, but losing Gross will be a huge blow that they might not be able to recover from.

Panthers sign LB Kelvin Smith, send Thomas Davis to IR

10 November 2009 Leave a comment

The Panthers have signed LB Kelvin Smith off the practice squad to replace injured LB Thomas Davis, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in Sunday’s game against the Saints.

The Panthers plan to use Smith primarily as a back-up, because Landon Johnson has already been given the starting job in place of Davis.

This is a huge blow to the already injury-riddled defensive unit, who has been without the services of DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu since the first day of training camp, and DT Louis Leonard since the 2nd game of the regular season.

The bad just keeps getting worse

9 November 2009 4 comments

According to a report from Cat Scratch Reader, Panthers starting OLB Thomas Davis is out for the remainder of the season with a torn right ACL. Davis suffered the injury late in yesterday’s game against the Saints in New Orleans.

This is terrible news. Davis was the best player on the Panthers defensive unit, and now he’s out for the year. Landon Johnson will (probably) fill in for Davis in the starting lineup.

Darin Gantt adds that Davis will be placed on IR sometime in the near future.

Also, I’ve added a glossary of terms. Feel free to check it out if you would like.