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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Injuries Provide Concerns, Opportunity

Outside of left and right guard, the early-season secondary, and the
Dwan Edwards injury holding him out for over a month, Carolina hasn't
had a significant need for a lot of depth so far.

Now, there's starting to be cause to push some of Dave Gettleman's
back-end roster.

Past the Charles Johnson issue, which it appears he won't be around
this week, Chase Blackburn won't be around and it doesn't appear that
Ben Hartsock will be either.

Hartsock has no better replacement than Johnson. The league's best
blocker per profootballfocus.com, his role is obviously different from
Greg Olsen's, but the team needs both. Richie Brockel did a lot of
moving around, and when they wanted Olsen in that role we saw Brandon
Williams at the TE spot a little, but they're just making do. The hope
would be that one or the other might be able to generate a look or two
that Hartsock can't, in the meantime, but they did rely somewhat heavily
on Brockel to pass block around the edge as well.

Blackburn's replacement is more obvious - they certainly like what
they've gotten out of rook AJ Klein enough that he might find himself
stealing time from Blackburn over time. But, they have also brought in
Jason Williams again to take a spot on special teams for the time being.

Guard Chris Scott doesn't seem to have much timetable to return. So
far it's been Nate Chandler over Geoff Hangartner, but I'd still feel
better about Hangartner in there right now. Chandler is probviding some
push, at least.
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