STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

INJURY IMPACT: With Dan Morgan expected back in the lineup, Will Witherspoon will move back to weak-side linebacker this week against the Falcons. Brian Allen returns to a reserve role.

   The Panthers will continue to use Rod Smart on kickoff returns. The team likes the way Smart has looked in his first two games in which he has averaged 26 per return. The Panthers will occasionally use Steve Smith on kickoff returns as well just to mix things up. Smith is handling all of the punt return duties and averaging a stellar 18.7 yards per return on nine attempts.

PERSONNEL/INJURY NOTES

   --LB Dan Morgan will be back in the lineup this week after missing Week 2 with a hamstring injury. He practiced on Wednesday and looked fine. The healthy Panthers have only two players even listed on the injury report this week.

   --LB Mike Caldwell remains questionable for this week with a dislocated kneecap. If he plays, he'll participate almost exclusively on special teams. He did not practice on Wednesday.

   GAME PLAN: The Panthers will look to control the clock and pound out yardage behind the running of Stephen Davis. On Sunday, the Falcons showed they are vulnerable to a physical running attack and the Panthers hope to exploit that on Sunday. Davis has yet to score for the Panthers, but has gained at least 100 yards on the ground in each of his first two weeks.

   MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Falcons TE Alge Crumpler vs. Panthers linebackers -- This will be a good test for Carolina's linebackers unit, which should get Dan Morgan back in the fold this week. Crumpler is leading the Falcons in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. So far the Panthers have been susceptible e to giving up passing yards to the tight end.

   INJURY IMPACT: With Dan Morgan expected back in the lineup, Will Witherspoon will move back to weak-side linebacker this week against the Falcons. Brian Allen returns to a reserve role.


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