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December 14, 2012

At least three starters out for Panthers vs. San Diego

The Panthers will be without at least three starters Sunday at San Diego, and possibly more.

Running back Jonathan Stewart, center Geoff Hangartner and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards will not make the trip Friday when the team departs for California.

Stewart (ankle) and Edwards (wrist) both missed last week's win against Atlanta, when the Panthers had five starters out. Hangartner sprained his foot against the Falcons, and the training staff did not want to risk any setbacks by having him play against the Chargers.

It would be unfair to have him play and then have him spend five or six more days in the boot again after he plays,” coach Ron Rivera said Friday. “I'm not sure how effective he'd be, either.”

Hangartner's injury comes at a time when the Panthers were developing a little consistency along the line, two months after Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil went on injured reserve with a foot injury. Hangartner moved from right guard to center, and Garry Williams has played better of late at Hangartner's former guard spot.

Jeff Byers, who struggled in an earlier stint at guard, will start at center Sunday. Thomas Austin, a former Clemson player who was signed off the practice squad this month, will back up Byers and Williams.

That's discouraging because Geoff is really playing well You say, 'He had to replace an All-Pro. Well, Geoff has played as well as anybody could expect in that situation, and better,” Rivera said.

For the last several weeks the line has come together. They've kind of jelled,” Rivera added. “Now it's going to fall on Jeff Byers and Thomas Austin to get that crew going. We'll see how they do.”

The Panthers list three players as questionable, including two starters who sat out last week – receiver Brandon LaFell (turf toe) and outside linebacker James Anderson (back).

Rivera said trainer Ryan Vermillion would wait until Sunday before deciding on the status of LaFell. But Rivera put LaFell's chances of playing at better than 50 percent.

Anderson practiced Friday, but said this week he is concerned how his lower back would react after the long flight to San Diego. If Anderson can't play, Jason Phillips would take his place on the strong side.

Special teams player Colin Jones missed practice with a groin injury and is questionable.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on December 14, 2012 at 02:10 PM | Permalink


We will not let this be a problem for us this week. We did very well last wek without these guys. Lets not think about who will not be staring, lets just go out and get the job done. I say we have these last three games in the bag. Theres a saying we had in the Army, if you assume, need I say more. GO PANTHERS

Posted by: Brenda | Dec 14, 2012 4:25:21 PM

Sit all the starters and play the entire practice squad. Heck, give Rivera the day off too. He needs to get used to being off on Sunday anyway. We had our moment of redemption last week, it's time to think about '13.

Posted by: Hairy Dawg | Dec 14, 2012 4:35:07 PM

These injuries are so unfortunate.

Posted by: Goddy | Dec 14, 2012 5:31:15 PM

its so obvious that JStew loves the game of football

Posted by: Red | Dec 14, 2012 10:56:54 PM

a true pro's pro

Posted by: Red | Dec 14, 2012 10:57:31 PM

I think all teams should have a CURFEW the night before a game, it may have helped Brown from his untimely death, God Bless. I foresee us winning the rest of the season. I only wish these highly paid doctors knew of the old fashioned remedies for these little aches and pains, What happened to the Epsom Salt baths for sprains, man get in the tub and soak that ankle, rub that knee with some Thera-Gesic Cream or some red alcohol, lets get it together guys. Do I have to come up there and take care of you? I still believe in old time remedies. Lets go get'em PANTHERS

Posted by: Brenda Leigh | Dec 15, 2012 8:02:14 AM

Saving money on per deim for non traveling players. I like it. Nice one JR.

Posted by: NR736 | Dec 15, 2012 5:48:06 PM

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