Analysis: Patriots vs Panthers
By Patriots Insider Staff
The New England Patriots matchup Vs the Carolina Panthers is sure to be a test of wills as much as it will be a battle between two premiere teams. Although there are a dozen or more players from both sides returning to play from their Super Bowl XXXVIII game, some will not be on the field Sunday due to injury.
The Injury list as of Friday:
QUESTIONABLE: Tully Banta-Cain, LB; Andre' Davis, WR; Brandon Gorin, T; Jarvis Green, DE; Bethel Johnson, WR; Richard Seymour, DE; James Sanders, S; Duane Starks, CB; Tyrone Poole, CB; Chad Scott, CB; PROBABLE: Tom Brady, QB
Six of the Patriots on the list didn't fly to Carolina and will not be playing today: Tully Banta-Cain, Andre Davis, Brandon Gorin, James Sanders, Chad Scott, and Tyrone Poole.
OUT: Definitely will not play.
DOUBTFUL: At least 75 percent chance will not play.
QUESTIONABLE: A 50-50 chance will not play.
PROBABLE: Virtual certainty that player will be available for normal duty.
Seymour, although hurt and missing practice time during the week will play on Sunday, and the patriot swill need his ability to disrupt the Panther's QB Jake Delhomme's rhythm.
Starks has been talking about how his deep thigh bruise is something he can play with, but the team has held him out in order to ensure his return is a healthy one and he can contribute at 100%. The last thing they want is for their free agent pickup to come back too early in the long NFL season. Expect Starks to play in dime packages if he's healthy enough to go.
Poole was expected to matchup with Steve Smith in the much-ballyhooed spitting incident from Super Bowl XXXVIII. Smith insists Poole spat on him during the game. Poole has been quiet. Now that Poole is out, it will be Randall Gay's job step in for Poole. The Pats may change thing sup a bit with the return of Starks, but figure Gay to get the start.
The loss of Kris Jenkins is a serious blow to the Panthers defensive front. With Jenkins in the mix, teams had difficulty rushing on Carolina. Now that Jenkins is out for the rest of the year, expect teams to double up more on DE Julius Peppers and find more success on the ground against Carolina's front seven.
The rest of the Panthers appear healthy enough to play on Sunday.
updated information on players and their injuries be sure to check the Hot
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