A Good Bye?

Fans can't stand it. You're several weeks into the season and just settling into the routine of watching your favorite team play every Sunday. You've reaquainted yourself with the old familiar players and are just getting use to recognizing the new ones. Your significant other hasn't quite gotten to the point where they want to throw you out of the house just yet but you've started noticing that dinners are getting colder and colder. Then it hits you.

Fans can't stand it. You're several weeks into the season and just settling into the routine of watching your favorite team play every Sunday. You've reaquainted yourself with the old familiar players and are just getting use to recognizing the new ones. Your significant other hasn't quite gotten to the point where they want to throw you out of the house just yet but you've started noticing that dinners are getting colder and colder. Then it hits you.

A fate so bad that the only thing worse is the empty feeling you get once the actual season is over.

You realize...

Your team has a bye week!

The Carolina Panthers have a bye week this week. As much as it may pain loyal fans to have to wait one more week to watch their favorite team in action, the timing for the Panthers probably couldn't have come at a better time. The Panthers (1-1) are coming off a week two victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, where backup running Deshaun Foster ran for 170 on one of the league's worst defenses. Foster filled in for all-pro running back Stephen Davis, who late last week had to have surgery to repair loose cartiledge in his knee that occured during the Friday practice. Davis, at the time of the injury, was expected to be out 3-5 weeks.

The bye week will help the team to recover from some of the injuries occuried during the early part of the season. Head coach John Fox said in a statement on the team's website (http://www.panthers.com), "We don't make the schedule. The schedule is pre-determined. This week gives the team the opportunity to have some of the guys that have gotten knicked and banged up a chance to get healthy again."

One of the players coach Fox was talking about was all-pro defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. Jenkins, a second round pick out of the University of Maryland, has been suffering from a bruised shoulder, which he received during the Chiefs game. Panther staff and fans breathed a collective sigh of relief as further MRI results showed no extensive damage to the shoulder. Jenkins is expected to play against the Panthers next opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons, coached by first year head coach Jim Mora, has the Panthers number over the past couple of seasons, especially with a healthy quarterback in Mike Vick. The Panthers, along with many other teams, have not been able to contain the scrambling Vick and hopes that a healthy defense can contain Vick and force the Falcons to try to beat them in the air. Last season, the Panthers didn't have to worry about Vick until the second game, as he was out for the majority of the season with a broken leg.

Although starting wide receiver Steve Smith, who broke his leg in game one against the Green Bay Packers, will not be available for at least eight more weeks, running back Stephen Davis plans on trying to be back as early as the Falcons game. "I read that's it's going to be two to five weeks. It's not going to be five weeks. I know that." Said Davis." It's possible with everything I'm doing to get myself ready for Atlanta. Anything is possible". Although the Panthers are once again forced to take their bye week early this year, the good news for the Panther faithful is that they have the rest of the season to look forward to down to the wire Panther games and many more opportunities to cheer on their Panthers. The bad news? At some point, the season will end again and you'll have to go back to life as you know it. One bit of word to the wise: Just don't forget the names of those around you that you associate with during the "off-season". Cold dinners get old real quick.


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