The Carolina Panthers have suffered through a disappointing season. But the move of Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason (shoulder) to the injured reserve list on Wednesday says a lot about how the Panthers are forced to deal with the rest of the season heading into their game against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
Beason needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, and he joins center Ryan Kalil and cornerback Chris Gamble on the list of players who have suffered season-ending injuries in 2012. First-round pick Luke Kuechly will fill in at middle linebacker, and he should be fun to watch, but there simply isn't enough talent on the defense to keep the team afloat right now. Carolina is 1-5 on the season and their defense currently ranks No. 19 against both the pass and the run.
Even more pressure will be heaped on young signal caller Cam Newton, who has stumbled through a sophomore slump in the first seven games and allowed character issues to rise to the forefront of the conversation once again.
The Bears' offense is still waiting to have that breakout performance, and with the Panthers so banged up they may finally get the chance to put up a big game both on the ground and in the air.