Comments from Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.
On the status of linebacker Dan Connor and other injuries: Dan Connor went to see the doc. We'll get a report on that later. Brandon Hogan has a little soreness in his knee, and there's a little bit of concern there. He did actually practice this afternoon though, so it may not be as bad as they initially thought. James Anderson looked good, and so did Captain (Munnerlyn), so I'm very, very optimistic about those guys."
On tight end Jeremy Shockey, who didn't practice all week because of a rib injury and is listed as doubtful: He's sore. If you get a chance to watch the first play (last Sunday against Tennessee), he tried to avoid a shot but got a shot and landed kind of odd. There is concern on that.
On what the linebacking corps will look like if Connor can't play: Depleted at best. We'll try to supplement Dan's play with Jordan Senn and Jason Williams. Those two guys would rotate in certain situations, and the sub packages would be Omar (Gaither) and James Anderson. Our emergency backers will be Antwan Applewhite and Kion (Wilson).
More on Connor's injury, characterized as a stinger in the shoulder area: He went to see (team physician) Dr. (Pat) Connor. They wanted to take an X-ray and just go through it one more time. This was the only time he could get him in. It's an obvious concern, but Jordan (Senn) came in and played at the end of the game last week for Dan and did a nice job. I feel good about Jason (Williams). He's gotten a lot of reps lately. The thing that is good is the opportunity for young guys to step up and play. The big thing that has to happen is that the other 10 guys have to rally around him when there's a different face in there. That's just the way it is. There's nothing you can do about it – you just have to rally and play.
On whether Hogan's soreness clouds the decision whether to activate him for the first time Sunday: It does. The concern is how he reacts tomorrow. Anytime you have practice on turf like we did the last two days because of the weather, that's always going to rough for someone coming off knee surgery. That's the residual of practicing on it two days. He got sore last night and came in this morning sore and with some fluid and tightness, so we wanted to be careful with him. He actually responded pretty good to treatment and practice. He was going to get some opportunities. We'll see. He came out of this afternoon a little better than I originally though.
On how practice went this week: It was more in tune with what we're used to. Things were kind of flying all over the place Wednesday but got progressively better. Last week was a little bit different with the extra day, so now we're kind of back to the pattern we were in before. The guys came out and practiced hard, and that's really the best thing in light of our circumstances and everything that has happened. They came in with good enthusiasm, good effort, and worked to get better.