Panthers banged up DBs preparing for Eli, Giants

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-18 17:53

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Perhaps this is the week for Eli Manning to get back on track.

The Carolina Panthers have some major injury concerns in the secondary as they prepare to host Manning and the New York Giants on Sunday in a game crucial for both 0-2 teams.

Carolina lost starting free safety Charles Godfrey over the weekend to a torn Achilles tendon and five other defensive backs missed all or part of Wednesday's practice, including starting cornerback Josh Thomas (concussion).

Safety Quintin Mikell (knee) and cornerback DJ Moore (knee), Josh Norman (thigh) and Thomas sat out practice, while cornerback James Dockery (hand) was limited.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera hopes to get some of those injured players back this week, but says undrafted rookie Robert Lester - who was signed from the practice squad on Tuesday - will start at safety Sunday if Mikell can't play.

Rivera said the injuries are ``concerning'' considered Manning's talent and experience at picking apart defenses.

``We have some young guys who will have to take some reps and get ready to play,'' Rivera said. ``But hopefully we can get some of these guys back on the field and get them geared up. But there is concern, yes. I'm not going to kid you about that.''

The Panthers were left with only five healthy defensive backs on Wednesday, which isn't good news for a unit that was considered the team's weakest link coming into the season.

Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott knows his secondary will have its hands full with Manning, even though the two-time Super Bowl MVP has struggled with seven interceptions in two games.

McDermott said the Panthers will rely on their strength on defense - their front seven - to pressure Manning into mistakes.

``They have to be special for us,'' McDermott said. ``That's what we've talked about - the great players have to play great every week.''

McDermott said one of the things the secondary is working on this week is better communication after some breakdowns in Carolina's 24-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

The onslaught of injuries caused some problems between players not used to playing with each other - or in some cases playing out of position.

Things were so dire at one point Sunday the Panthers talked about moving linebacker Thomas Davis to free safety because they didn't have enough defensive backs to use in nickel packages.

All of this would seem to be good news for Manning, who has a good track record against the Panthers.

Last year Manning completed 27 of 35 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown as the Giants embarrassed the Panthers 36-7 in front of their home crowd and a national television audience.

``Eli is a tremendous competitor who feels worse about bad plays than anything I can heap on his shoulders,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ``He knows. He's working hard to control the situation and stay within himself and realize that some of those plays you think you have to make, the percentages aren't with you.''

Not surprisingly, Coughlin said the Giants have included cutups from last year's game as part of their preparation for the Panthers.

It's a good bet Manning will be targeting a thin Carolina secondary.

``We have to see who is going to be out there for Carolina,'' Manning said. ``... Their front seven is very talented and their linebackers are good. We have to handle the guys up front to get the ball down the field.''

Panthers safety Mike Mitchell said the key will be not allowing Manning to get into a groove.

Last year Manning led the Giants to scores on their first four possessions to take an early 20-0 lead and the Panthers pretty much rolled over and played dead after that point. Manning did that despite playing without starting wide receiver Hakeem Hicks, who sat out with an injury.

``We have to try to frustrate Eli early and not let him get any big plays early,'' Mitchell said. ``He's a two-time Super Bowl champion and we'll have our hands full, but we are definitely going to be ready.''


AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org


Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin ForsettNov 27 10:23a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 27 08:53a

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (clavicle) tests were inconclusive, which the team was adamant about. He'll have a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 26 09:43p

Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) will have more tests on his injured left collarbone Friday, Nov. 27, but a source close to the situation [ More ]

Ameer AbdullahNov 26 09:43p

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah had 16 carries for a team-high 63 yards and one catch for 12 yards in a 45-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 26 08:53p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) went 11-for-21 for 106 yards and three interceptions against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12 before he left with his clavicle injury.

Darren McFaddenNov 26 08:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Darren McFadden rushed for 11 yards on 10 carries against the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. He also caught four passes for 45 yards during the game.

Tony RomoNov 26 08:33p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) is scheduled to undergo more tests after X-rays on his injured clavicle were inconclusive, according to head coach Jason Garrett. Romo said his [ More ]

Keenan LewisNov 26 07:43p

New Orleans Saints CB Keenan Lewis (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, Nov. 26.

Matt ForteNov 26 07:13p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) is officially active for the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

Doug BaldwinNov 26 06:43p

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) fully participated in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Kendall WrightNov 26 06:33p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) fully participated in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Theo RiddickNov 26 06:03p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in a blowout win over the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday, Nov. 26.

Matthew StaffordNov 26 05:53p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson had a hay day Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Stafford threw for 337 yards and five touchdowns, while [ More ]

Aaron DobsonNov 26 05:03p

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, Nov. 26.

Zurlon TiptonNov 26 05:03p

Free-agent RB Dan Herron (Bills) was signed by the Indianapolis Colts Thursday, Nov. 26. RB Zurlon Tipton was waived.

Dan HerronNov 26 05:03p

Free-agent RB Dan Herron (Bills) was signed by the Indianapolis Colts Thursday, Nov. 26. RB Zurlon Tipton was waived.

Michael FloydNov 26 04:33p

Arizona Cardinals WRs John Brown (hamstring), Larry Fitzgerald (ankle) and Michael Floyd (hamstring) and RB Chris Johnson (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Chris CulliverNov 26 04:23p

Washington Redskins CB Chris Culliver (knee) is out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Corey BrownNov 26 03:43p

Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the Week 12 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Corey BrownNov 26 03:33p

The Carolina Panthers have declared RB Brandon Wegher, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CB Charles Tillman, WR Corey Brown, LS Danny Aiken, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Ryan Delaire inactive for Week 12.

Brice ButlerNov 26 03:33p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared WR Brice Butler, TE Geoff Swaim, LB Mark Nzeocha, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Ronald Leary, DE Ryan Russell, RB Trey Williams inactive for Week 12.

Tyrod TaylorNov 26 03:23p

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Nolan CarrollNov 26 02:43p

Updating an earlier report, Philadelphia Eagles CB Nolan Carroll (ankle) is out for the rest of the game Thursday, Nov. 26, due to a broken ankle.

Matt BryantNov 26 02:33p

Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) was out of practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Leonard HankersonNov 26 02:33p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) was out of practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Emmanuel SandersNov 26 02:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Danny AmendolaNov 26 02:13p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Charcandrick WestNov 26 02:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) didn't practice Thursday, Nov. 26.

Kendall WrightNov 26 01:53p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) is expected to return Sunday, Nov. 29, in Week 12, according to head coach Mike Mularkey.

Timothy WrightNov 26 11:33a

The Detroit Lions have declared OT Corey Robinson, DL Gabe Wright, S Isaiah Johnson, DL Jermelle Cudjo, OT LaAdrian Waddle, WR T.J. Jones, TE Tim Wright inactive for Week 12.

Darrelle RevisNov 26 11:33a

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) wasn't spotted at practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and he's unlikely to play in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Calvin JohnsonNov 26 11:23a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is active Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group