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October 28, 2011

Omar Gaither to start vs. Vikings

The Panthers' injury-depleted linebacker corps gets a boost this week with the return of Omar Gaither.

Gaither, who missed two weeks with a sprained knee, will start at the weakside spot Sunday against Minnesota, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said today.

Gaither brings a veteran presence to a group that lost starters and defensive captains Jon Beason and Thomas Davis to season-ending injuries the first two weeks of the season.

"He looked good. Each day he got better. Today he moved around great. He had a lot of energy, which is typical for Omar," Rivera said. "So I feel good about that situation."

The situation with CB Darius Butler is less clear. The Panthers' third corner remains in Florida with his newborn daughter, who underwent heart surgery Thursday.

Butler was scheduled to return today, but called Rivera this morning to tell him he needed to stay. Rivera said his thoughts and prayers are with Butler.

R.J. Stanford would be the third corner if Butler doesn't play. With backup safety Jordan Pugh (post-concussion symptoms) not expected to play, the Panthers could be thin in the secondary.

Quarterback Cam Newton was added to the injury report with a stomach virus. But Newton took all the reps at Friday's practice and is expected to be in the lineup against the Vikings.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2011 at 01:39 PM | Permalink


Ugh. I hope everything works out well for Darius Butler and his family. Hearing that kind of news makes football seem pretty silly.

Posted by: jeff | Oct 28, 2011 2:29:28 PM

lol. I had my doubts about Cam like a lot of people after the preseason. Those doubts were erased by 4pm on the day of the Arizona game. We may have lost, but wow what a player. He makes the entire team better. He grows a little better week by week as he sees defenses do different things. What a great future he has and our team has. Funny to hear the pundits who refuse to admit they were wrong about him. I don't care to say it. I was wrong. And glad I was wrong.

Posted by: YeahRight | Oct 28, 2011 2:54:05 PM

I've said it a million times. Newton is an average at best talent at the QB position and will not succeed long term. And he's not a winner like Jake or a leader like Jake. Just an average athlete with an inaccurate arm and below average speed.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 28, 2011 3:05:21 PM

@ YeahRight. It is completely ridiculous to say that Cam is an average at best QB. As a rookie he has put up more record numbers in 7 games than Jake did in his career as a Panther. Not to mention after the Super Bowl he began his down slope by making more INT's than TD's. Cam has scored at least one TD in the ground and air in each game, is 4th in overall passing yards in the league, has the speed of a running back, can make 70 yard passes while falling down and he is as big if not bigger in size than Roethlisberger. On top of that he has been in the league for how long? How much time in the off season did he have to prepare? There is absolutely nothing average about Cam even if he throws an INT in every game this year. Ponder, Dalton, and Tebow are the ones you are looking for in the average category. Cam will get rookie of the year and in a few years see a pro bowl or a Super Bowl, whichever comes first. Haters are gonna hate bro and it's people like you that make players like Cam even better. I thank you.

Posted by: Trode | Oct 28, 2011 3:27:18 PM

Trode: I like the pro bowl/super bowl thought, but don't be surprised to see his name tossed around for the pro bowl this year if his numbers continue!! I've already heard it said by some.

Posted by: Mike | Oct 28, 2011 3:43:33 PM

That Kiper D-bag still thinks Luck is better than Newton

Posted by: Fool | Oct 28, 2011 4:02:02 PM

lol.. he said he's not a winner like delhomme. dont forget that jake leaned heavily on D, running backs, and a lil fellow by the name of Stevonne Smith.

Posted by: zach | Oct 28, 2011 4:25:14 PM

For those "Jake" fans out there--If Jake was so good, why did Cleveland let him go after his first season with them. Where is he playing today?

Posted by: Wayne | Oct 28, 2011 5:36:41 PM

Some of you need to learn how to read (uh hum "D") ..... Cam will continue to impress and great things are coming to Panther Nation. JD had some great moments, but ended on a bad note like Fox, Peppers, etc. I can't remember feeling this good and proud of being a Panther fan since the NFC Championship games and SB. Even at 2-5 I can hold my head up high while I talk about the Panthers without getting a look from the person like I just said I have cancer or something. Every true football fan knows our record is not indicative of how good or bad the team is but our "potential" and longevity. Trust me, there are people noticing that the Panthers will be a team to be reckoned with in the near future. GO PANTHERS!

Posted by: TheTruth | Oct 28, 2011 6:18:19 PM

If they are weak in the secondary, there is a great safety out there in Chris Harris.

Posted by: Ghoul | Oct 28, 2011 8:31:31 PM


Posted by: 10-4!! | Oct 29, 2011 1:04:52 AM

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