The Carolina Panthers have spent much of the preseason being ballyhooed as the favorite, along with the Seahawks, to be the NFC representative in Super Bowl XLI. But, just one week into the season, the Panthers find themselves in serious jeopardy.
After dropping their home opener to the Falcons and losing starting offensive left tackle Travelle Wharton for the season and middle linebacker Dan Morgan for at least a couple of weeks, the Panthers come into the Metrodome with the distinct possiblity of falling to 0-2.
Unfortunately for Panthers fans, it doesn't get any easier after that. In Week 3, the Panthers have to travel to division rival Tampa Bay and, after a pair of home games, they go on the road to face the Ravens and Bengals in consecutive weeks.
The Panthers face a brutal schedule that doesn't leave much room for error. A team that at one time was viewed as a favorite from the NFC, Carolina now sits on the brinks of being just "one of the guys" slogging it out for a playoff spot.
If the Vikings put the boots to the Panthers on Sunday, look for the panic alarm to go off.
* If the Panthers' injury problems weren't already bad enough, All-Pro wide receiver Steve Smith and center Justin Hartwig both missed practice Thursday and remain question marks for Sunday's game.
* Koren Robinson is expected to play Sunday for the Packers -- his first game since his arrest in August for drunk driving and fleeing police.
* Former Viking Brian Williams pleaded guilty to DWI in Florida Thursday and was fined, sentenced to six months probation and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service.
Panthers Face Must-Win Game
Viking Update Top Stories
Vikings interest in versatile TE makes senseThe Minnesota Vikings made a strong push for Jared Cook in free agency, but they could be turning their attention to the draft to find another complement to Kyle Rudolph.
Viking Update9:04 AM
What are realistic Peterson numbers?Former Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains unsigned. A former agent lays out the landscape for players of A.P.'s age and the recent trends that point downward on contract…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 11:04 PM
Bills claim former Vikings defensive linemanA former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman didn’t make it to free agency, instead being claimed on waivers.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 3:44 PM
For Böhringer, everything ‘calmed down’Moritz Böhringer had a season of learning on the field and off, but he has no intention of giving up his NFL dream and playing in Germany again.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 12:39 PM