Carolina Panthers Preseason: Latest Buzz on Player Injuries

Stephen FenechCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

Carolina Panthers Preseason: Latest Buzz on Player Injuries

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    As training camps continue to drag on, players are once again falling victim to the injury bug. No one is immune, and all fans can hope for is that their favorite team's best players make it through unscathed. 

    Last season, the Carolina Panthers were great on offense, as they finished in the top half of the league in both passing and rushing. A lot of the credit for that success has properly been given to Cam Newton, but it was the efforts of the entire unit that led to the production. 

    If the Panthers defense hadn't performed so poorly, then the Panthers would have been in the wild-card race late into the season. Last season, they finished 24th in pass defense and 25th in rush defense, not exactly the rankings you typically see from a playoff defense. 

    Although they went 6-10 last season, there are a lot of reasons for Panthers fans to be optimistic as the new season draws closer. 

    So far in camp, the Panthers have seen injuries affect the competition for the second cornerback spot and had to sit out two of their linebackers in their preseason opener against the Houston Texans

    If this is as bad as the health situation gets for the Panthers, then Newton's team should consider themselves among the luckiest in the league. 

Training Camp Injuries

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    Ron Edwards

    He is trying to come back from a torn triceps injury that caused him to miss the entirety of last season. Over the span of his 12-year career, he has missed significant time in four seasons, so he isn't exactly the most durable. 

    Edwards has yet to play a down for the Carolina Panthers during the regular season, but head coach Ron Rivera is hoping that will change this season. 

    So far this offseason, Edwards has been hampered by a knee injury, but he started the team's preseason opener against the Houston Texans

    The fact that he started the game means that he is relatively healthy, which is good news for the Panthers because they desperately need Edwards to bolster their run defense. 

     

    Jon Beason

    He is one of the better interior linebackers in the NFL and will be joined by first-round pick Luke Kuechly in the middle. 

    He missed the game against the Texans due to a pulled hamstring, but Rivera expects him back later this week. Even if Beason misses the second preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, it shouldn't be viewed as a big deal. 

    He still has plenty of time to get some game action before the regular season starts, and the team should be cautious with him because he is the leader of the defense. 

Training Camp Injuries

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    Louis Murphy

    He was listed as probable before the game against the Houston Texans but wound up playing and leading the team in receiving. 

    He was suffering with a hamstring injury, but played through it probably in hopes of maintaining his lead over David Gettis as the team's third wide receiver. 

    Honestly, anyone that is fortunate enough to play on an offense with Cam Newton has a chance to be productive. Newton is just that good; just look at how Steve Smith revitalized his career in his first season with the Heisman Trophy winner.

    There is still a long way before the regular season starts, but if Murphy continues to impress, then he is the favorite to start the season in the slot for Carolina. 

     

    Thomas Davis

    He is currently nursing a sore calf and missed the preseason opener against the Texans. Just like Beason, Rivera expects him back later in the week. 

    Unlike Beason, Davis hasn't played a full season since 2008. As if that didn't properly sum up how injury-ridden he has been in the past few years, Davis has started just nine games since '08. 

    If he is able to stay healthy this season, Davis could make a big difference in improving the team's porous run defense. 

    In his last full season, Davis compiled 113 tackles and appeared to be on the cusp of stardom. Now he is forgotten in most places outside of Panther country, and his promising career has been derailed by injuries. 

    Hopefully Davis will be able to stay on the field this season, but the ACL injuries that disrupted his career threaten his ability to get back to his pre-injury form.