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Mason's Minutes: Injuries strike early

Posted Aug 3, 2009

*** UPDATED AT 6:12 P.M. EDT ***

Tackles

Before Maake Kemoeatu was injured, he worked on a drill with Marlon Favorite -- the man who later filled in for him at defensive tackle. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM)


TwitterSPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Camp XV in Panthers annals began under sunny skies at Wofford College, but the outlook darkened early in the session when defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu and linebacker Jon Beason left play and did not return.

Kemoeatu succumbed to an ankle injury and retreated to the Richardson Center for the remainder of the practice session, while Beason "tweaked" his ankle but remained on the sideline for the rest of the session.

"(Kemoeatu) did something to his ankle," head coach John Fox said, adding that the injury took place when he was running. Fox said that Kemoeatu would be examined by team doctors later Monday.

His fellow first-team tackle, Damione Lewis, was optimistic.

"I think he'll be okay," Lewis said. "I don't know what's going on, but we're waiting to hear, and we'll just go on from there."

Beason left after the first play of the initial team period of practice, but said he first injured the hamstring during a workout prior to training camp.

"Actually, I tweaked it about a week and a half ago training, and then we treated it and it felt fine," he said. "I should have warmed up a little bit better today. I think I'll go in and get some treatment, and I'll be fine."

"Injuries are part of this game ... As a coach, it's a fine line -- one of the hard things about camp is that you want to get ready to play football, but you've got to make sure you have some guys to play football with. Those things happen. They'll happen all through camp -- just hopefully nothing too serious."

With Kemoeatu and Beason down, rookie defensive tackle Marlon Favorite and second-year linebacker Dan Connor took their places during team work. Connor recently completed rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last September at Minnnesota; Favorite was one of the team's undrafted signees two days after the draft after playing both nose and three-technique tackle at LSU.

"(Favorite) came in and did a pretty good job," Lewis said. "It's hard for me to actually see him on the field. I'll know better this afternoon when I'm watching film. But he came in and held his own."

OVERALL, Fox thought the morning practice was "very good," in spite of the usual fits and starts that define the first full-pad practice in nearly eight months.

"It always looks a little sluggish that first day in pads, (because) they haven't carried them all year," Fox said. "But you can tell they've worked, and that's very good for a first day."

SPLIT SECONDS:

... Defensive line coach Brian Baker had praise for defensive end Julius Peppers early, watching him move past Everette Brown in a drill to simulate going into the backfield and saying, "That's exactly what I want!" ...

Diggs
Defense gets the better of this collision, as Na'il Diggs jars loose the football from Jonathan Stewart. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM)


... Big hits abounded during open-field, seven-on-seven drills, as Na'il Diggs and James Anderson jarred loose the football from Jonathan Stewart and Gary Barnidge, respectively ...

... Rookie running back Mike Goodson flashed some quickness, drawing oohs as he cut and moved away from Beason during a one-on-one, runners-vs.-linebackers period ...

... Favorite and fellow undrafted rookie Lonnie Harvey looked especially powerful on their bull rush during one-on-one line drills, but Baker advised Favorite that to make penetration through the offensive line work, you have to make a move within three seconds ...

... Rookie Larry Beavers used a double move to make the first long catch of the day, working past C.J. Wilson up the left sideline. He later used a similar move to break open deep behind Sherrod Martin, but the pass went too far ...

... Cornerback Chris Gamble logged an interception during one-on-one work, snagging off an out pass intended for Jason Chery for what would have been a pick-six in a game situation ...

... Practice closed with work on punt protection. Wide receivers Ryne Robinson, Beavers and Kenneth Moore lined up to field Jason Baker's punts.

ROARS* OF THE DAY:

* Because I'm not the only one who deplores the word "tweet." Beason, himself a Twitterer (or whatever it is) wants to find another term, as well, saying, "What are you, 'Tweeting'? I mean, it doesn't even sound cool."

9:28 A.M. EDT: Ron Meeks is running a drill where an entire 11-man defense runs onto the field, screaming, before sprinting to the corner of the end zone.

9:36 A.M. EDT: DL coach Brian Baker implores his men to "play fast" in a drill, then after Peppers takes a good turn, yells, "That's exactly what I want!"

9:59 A.M. EDT: Mike Goodson drawing oohs for a quick cut he made in a RB-vs.-LB receiving drill ... dude can move.

12:30 P.M. EDT: FYI, #MarlonFavorite: An engaging, friendly fellow. Always seems to have a smile on his face, even when he's working hard on the field.

For more, follow along at Twitter.com/cpanthers.

SNAPSHOTS:

Beavers
Close, but no cigar ... Larry Beavers's best effort wasn't enough to reel in this pass.

Goodson
After making a grab in the open field, Mike Goodson spun out of Beason's grasp and pulled away ...

Drilled
... but later in the morning practice, Landon Johnson caught up to him with authority.

Fiammetta
Fullback Tony Fiammetta beats linebacker Anthony Heygood during one-on-one drills.

Marshall
Jason Carter and Richard Marshall took flight, but the pass had a higher altitude before falling incomplete.