Panthers Tidbits 8-24

The latest news and notes from the Panthers as they prepare to take on the Miami Dolphins.

--QB Chris Weinke struggled for the second straight week, completing just 2 of 5 passes for 20 yards while being sacked three times in a win over Jacksonville.

--WR Keyshawn Johnson had three grabs for 35 yards and was the intended receiver on several of Jake Delhomme's passes with Steve Smith out of the lineup.

--CB Jarrett Bush is turning some heads with some solid play. Bush has an outside chance to earn a roster spot if the team keeps five corners.

--LB James Anderson has been working with the first team dime defense and has two sacks in as many weeks.

--TE Michael Gaines started for the second straight week for Carolina on Saturday night.

--OL Geoff Hangartner is likely the first offensive lineman off the bench in the event of a long-term injury to one of the starters.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Eric Shelton vs. Alex Haynes for third RB -- This time around Shelton got into the game ahead of Haynes. However, Haynes again outperformed the team's second-round draft pick, rushing for 30 yards on four carries. Shelton had 6 yards on two carries, although one first down run was called back because of a penalty. DeShaun Foster has been working as the starter while rookie DeAngelo Williams is working second team and Nick Goings the third team.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Na'il Diggs vs. Keith Adams for starting OLB -- Diggs has started two straight games and appears to have nailed down the starting job opposite Thomas Davis. A free agent pickup from Green Bay, Diggs is bigger than Adams and has outperformed him during camp. The Panthers eventually want to hand that job to rookie James Anderson, but he's not quite ready to take over.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Little-known running back Alex Haynes is working his way to a roster spot with some strong runs during practice. If he keeps it up he may just beat out Eric Shelton. The all-time leading rusher at Central Florida, Haynes has looked good both in practice and in games so far. Unlike Shelton, he's been quick to pick up the offense.

ROOKIE REPORT: RB DeAngelo Williams had 10 yards on four carries and worked kickoff returns for the Panthers on Saturday night against Jacksonville. It appears he will be the team's No. 2 back and the starting kick returner.

--CB Richard Marshall improved in his second preseason game, stealing an interception away from a Jaguars receiver in the end zone.

--For the second straight week, rookie OLB James Anderson (third round) from Virginia Tech was in on a sack. The team's third-round draft pick has been working primarily in dime defenses and he's been playing so well it looks like he will be regular in that defensive set for the Panthers.

--The Panthers remain high on seventh-round pick C Will Montgomery.

INJURY REPORT: Wide receiver Steve Smith did not play Saturday night as coach John Fox decided to give his Pro Bowl receiver another week to heal from a strained hamstring, as well as a new injury, an ingrown toenail.

Smith, who just returned to practice last week, sounded Thursday like he wasn't quite ready to test the hamstring in live action.

"When you have to try to do something, that's usually an indication that you probably shouldn't," Smith said. "Obviously, a hamstring can be a nagging injury if you don't take care of business properly."

Tight end Kris Mangum (foot) did not dress for the Panthers.

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