It's been awhile since the Panthers have seen Jon Beason in pads. (File photo by John Clark)
CHARLOTTE – Middle linebacker Jon Beason’s recovery from Achilles tendinitis is going to take a little longer than expected.
Coach Ron Rivera announced Wednesday that Beason, who has been to three straight Pro Bowls and has never missed a regular season game in four seasons, had a “simple procedure that’s going to set him back about a week.”
Beason had the surgery on Tuesday in Charlotte, Rivera said.
Beason started training camp on the NFI (non-football injury) list and has yet to practice since signing a new $50 million contract. He had been working on the side with strength coaches up until this week but was noticeably absent from practice the last couple of days.
Rivera remains hopeful Beason will be ready to go by the team’s regular season opener Sept. 11 at Arizona. The Panthers originally expected Beason to be ready the first or second week of training camp, but the injury has lingered.
“It was to alleviate the pressure on the Achilles,” Rivera said of the surgery. “After a week when he’s back running around we’ll see how he is for the following week.”
If Beason can’t start, Dan Connor will open the season as the starting middle linebacker.
CLAUSEN QUESTIONABLE: QB Derek Anderson has been taking more snaps the last two days in practice because Jimmy Clausen has an elbow contusion, Rivera said.
Rivera said a defensive player ran into Clausen’s elbow during last Friday night’s loss to the Miami Dolphins and that it has been sore the last couple of days. Rivera wouldn’t say if Anderson will play the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cam Newton and the rest of the starters are expected to play about three quarters.
“We’ll find out (Thursday) during warmups how he’s feeling,” Rivera said. “But he took a helmet to the elbow and has complained about soreness the last couple of days. He threw on Sunday and didn’t feel good and we backed him off.”
SITTING IT OUT: Several others will miss Thursday night’s game at Cincinnati due to injuries, including RT Jeff Otah (knee), RG Geoff Schwartz (hip), FB Tony Fiammetta (concussion), RB Mike Goodson (Achilles), OT Lee Ziemba (concussion), TE Gary Barnidge (ankle), CBs Cletis Gordon (shoulder) and Brandon Hogan (knee) and S Sean Considine (unknown).
The Panthers will make a game-time decision on DE Greg Hardy, who returned to practice this week after missing about three weeks of camp with injuries related to a motorcycle accident.
GETTIS HAS SURGERY: WR David Gettis had successful surgery this week to repair the torn ACL in his knee. Gettis is expected to be placed on injured reserve once the Panthers trim their roster to 80 players Aug. 30.
TOUCHDOWN CLUB: Speaking for the first time to fans at the Panthers 2011 Countdown to Kickoff luncheon at the Charlotte Convention Wednesday, Rivera outlined what type of mentality he’s hoping to establish in Charlotte.
“When people come to Charlotte to play football we want them to know this is our house, this is our town, this is our city and this is our football team and you’re going to walk away thinking, ‘Man, that is a tough place to play,’” Rivera said. “And we’re looking for a commitment from our fans to make this a tough city.”
Rivera also said his goal is to be a “Super Bowl winning coach.”