Gamble vows to bounce back

CHARLOTTE – Much like his teammates, Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble hasn't been happy with the way the season has gone.

Gamble, whose streak of 42 consecutive games started just ended, only knows one thing to do about it.

Make that two.

"I've just got to keep praying and playing," Gamble said. "Overall, it's a frustrating season. We're 1-10. I wish it was the other way around.

"It's real frustrating right now, but we've just got to keep grinding."

Second-year cornerback Captain Munnerlyn started in Gamble's usual spot last Sunday at Cleveland and responded with an interception return for a touchdown. Upon Munnerlyn's arrival in the end zone, Gamble was there to celebrate with him.

It's not clear who will start this week. Complicating matters, Gamble didn't practice Thursday with a hamstring injury he suffered in Wednesday's practice, though Gamble said he was optimistic that he'd play in Sunday's game at Seattle.

Gamble also missed some practice time last week, missing last Wednesday's practice for personal reasons.

"I apologized to the team about it, and everything is good now," Gamble said. "I felt like I let the team down for missing practice, that I should have been there, but I was going through some personal issues at the time. That's why I apologized."

Gamble's week then got even tougher on the professional side of things last Saturday, when he said the coaches informed him that Munnerlyn would take his place in the lineup.

"I kind of struggled in the Baltimore game (on Nov. 27), so I kind of figured that's where it came from," Gamble said. "I was upset, but I've just got to deal with it. I'm not a player that gets all riled up because my coach benched me. I've just got to learn from that and keep going."

Gamble pointed out that he's been benched before, and he has responded positively in the past. He played but did not start the final three games of the 2007 season but came back to post a career year in 2008, starting every game for the first time since his rookie year of 2004 and leading the team in interceptions (three) and passes defensed (20) in addition to recording a career-high 103 tackles.

Now, coming off the first game he hadn't started since then, Gamble hopes to once again come back strong.

"I've been benched before. I've just got to face it and keep going," Gamble said. "I've just got to keep praying about the situation and let God handle the situation. I'm just going to keep playing, keep doing what I do."

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