Panthers confirm Beason has a torn Achilles, done for the season
Written by Richard Walker
Monday, 12 September 2011 15:36
CHARLOTTE – When Carolina Panthers three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason fell down without contact while chasing an Arizona Cardinals player in Sunday’s 28-21 season-opening loss, the team feared a serious injury.
Those fears were confirmed Monday when further physical examination revealed a torn left Achilles tendon that will knock Beason out for the rest of the season.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera confirmed the tear Monday afternoon and said surgery would be scheduled in the next few days.
Beason, a six-year veteran who signed a five-year extension worth more than $50 million on July 30, will be replaced by fifth-year linebacker Don Connor. Beason had made four tackles before the injury, then Connor made six stops after replacing Beason.
Beason will be placed on injured reserve, which will create a roster spot for the Panthers. Rivera said he hoped to have a replacement player – probably a defensive tackle or offensive lineman – by Tuesday afternoon.
“You can pretty much imagine what it’s going to be like to lose a leader like Jon,” said Carolina outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who has missed much of the previous two seasons with a torn knee ligament. “He’s a guy who comes in day-in and day-out and gives you everything he has. It’s going to be extremely tough for us. But we have some guys who have to step up now. You know, Dan Connor is a guy who has stepped up and played well for us in the past.”
Beason’s injury happened with him covering former Panthers tight end Jeff King on what became a 48-yard touchdown catch. After Beason fell down, he had to be carted to the locker room.
Beason’s left leg had been bothering him for months. Slowed in training camp by what was originally diagnosed as Achilles tendinitis, Beason had three screws inserted into the foot Aug. 23 and was told he would need three to four weeks of recovery time.
However, Beason started Sunday’s regular-season opener to extend his streak of consecutive starts to 65.
“To play the way he did and play after having surgery like he did showed great character,” said Panthers defensive back Charles Godfrey.
The chore for the Panthers doesn’t get any easier with defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay coming to Carolina for Sunday’s 1 p.m. home opener. But Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott took a pragmatic approach to life without Beason on his defense.
“It’s unfortunate but injuries are part of the game and we’ve got to move on, look forward and the next guy has got to step up,” said McDermott, who came to Carolina after 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. “We feel good about Dan. That’s why he’s here. I've known Dan a long time in terms of watching him at Penn State. He’s a very capable linebacker for us.”
The Panthers now have two roster spots to fill after cutting guard Max Jean-Gilles on Sunday.