Friday, August 22, 2008

Panthers-Redskins Primer

It is Friday, and that means, it's time to take a look ahead to the Panthers third pre-season game. They face Washington Saturday night.

- Likely out - S Chris Harris, WR D.J. Hackett

- Could play - WR Muhsin Muhammad, TE Gary Barnidge, CB Ken Lucas

By the way, I am doing this before hearing the Panthers injury report, so don't take this as the divine word. This time.

OK, talk earlier in the week of Jonathan Stewart seeing some time with the first team offensive line means that you can bet he'll get some work there. I want to see how he performs with that group. He only got a handful of carries last week in Philly behind the 2nd teamers, and he struggled a bit. Also, keep in mind it was his first game action since November of last year. He was rusty, running behind the backups. My guess is, if his toe is getting closer to 100%, we could see some flashes. I expect DeAngelo Williams will continue to look good--he's had a great camp and a nice pre-season.

--The starters will play the entire first half, and into the 3rd quarter, although Head Coach John Fox told us this week, the third quarter action would depend on number of reps, game situation, time remaining. Smoke screen or not, expect the "ones" to stay in for at least a series in the third quarter. Next Thursday in Pittsburgh, the starters will likely warm up, play one series and then become spectators for the rest of the game.

--As for the backups, the Panthers are still mulling the roster cut. They will chop the roster to 75 early next week, and then go from 75 to 53 next Saturday, after the Steelers game. Guys are still battling for jobs, and the competition will likely get more heated next Thursday. The backups will see limited action this week, as the starters will get most of the work.

--As much fun as I had last Thursday keeping the live blog during the Panthers-Eagles tilt, I will be unable to do so Saturday night. I will be on the field with a camera on my shoulder, so if you see me, say hello!

Reminder, tonight begins the Discount Tire Friday Night Final, on News 14 Carolina. The action, from across the state, kicks off at 11pm. It's a high paced show, with tons of video, scores, and of course, the "14 to Watch." I would call it must-see TV, but some other network coined that phrase. Besides, if you miss it live at 11pm, you can see the encore presentation Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. Live or on tape, I hope you'll make time for it.

Have a great weekend!

Mike Solarte

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