Jon Beason expects to be back in middle vs. Dallas Cowboys
Oct/08/12 10:16 PM Filed in: Jon Beason
Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason said he expects to remain in the middle when the Panthers face Dallas on Oct. 21 after the bye week.
Beason missed Sunday’s 16-12 loss to Seattle with shoulder and knee injuries. Rookie Luke Kuechly, the first-round pick who started in Beason’s place, had one of his best games with 11 tackles and an interception.
Beason said in no uncertain terms he wanted to stay in the middle, adding the coaching staff indicated he would.
“That’s what’s been communicated to me, so I’m sticking with that,” Beason said Monday. “I’ve been playing the Mike thus far, and I don’t anticipate anything different.”
Kuechly, who set NCAA tackling records as a middle linebacker at Boston College, said he didn’t have a preference.
“Nah,” Kuechly said. “We’ll see what happens in the bye week. It doesn’t really matter too much to me.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said they planned to evaluate whether to keep Kuechly in the middle or return him to the weakside, where he started the first four games.
Beason posted the top four single-season tackle totals in team history his first four seasons before sustaining a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1 in 2011. He has been plagued by nagging injuries this season, including a shoulder issue that has led to missed tackles when he tried to arm-tackle ball-carriers.
Beason said the two weeks off should help him heal and get him ready for the final 11 games.
“That’s the plan. That’s why we get these bye weeks. Tough season, long haul,” he said. “If you’re really going to make a push for it, guys have to be healthy down the stretch.”