LB Jon Beason, one of the few established players on the defense for a young Panthers team, will miss the remainder of the 2011 season after tearing his Achilles in Week One.
Beason suffered the injury during the third quarter of Carolina's 28-21 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. The veteran linebacker went down while chasing TE Jeff King on a 48-yard touchdown reception. He is likely to be replaced in the lineup by Dan Connor.
The fifth-year pro has started every game of his career up to this point, and has made the NFC Pro Bowl team three times. In August, he signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with the team.
The way we see it
Connor is a decent player. He can get downhill quickly and stuff the run and has experience (he started eight games last season). He can't replace what Beason provides in talent, though. The Panthers will miss Beason's leadership, too. The Panthers can't afford to be losing playmakers, and Beason is one of the league's best at his position.