Jon Beason tweaks hamstring in Wednesday practice

Middle linebacker Jon Beason tweaked his hamstring at Wednesday's practice and missed the evening walkthrough while receiving treatment.

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera hopes Beason, who was out last season following Achilles surgery, can play in Saturday's exhibition game against Houston.

The Panthers defense was a problem area in 2011, with the Panthers finishing 28th in the league in total defense.

Beason's return is a key part of the plan to reverse that in 2012. Even with Beason back, Rivera has expressed concern about the defense.

He told the Observer on Tuesday, "We have to improve based on what happened last year. We got better at the end of the year but we’re still an unknown. I know that (linebacker) Jon Beason is back, I know we drafted (linebacker) Luke Kuechly, we made some upgrades at our safety position, our safeties have come together as a unit, we’re very competitive at the corner position and our pass rush looks like it’s improved. But we don’t know."

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