The Panthers entered training camp with a new defensive coordinator, a more aggressive scheme and plenty of motivation in the locker room to erase memories of their late-season slide in 2008.
Halfway through the preseason, injuries are derailing their plans.
Jon Beason, Carolina's middle linebacker, leading tackler and defensive leader, is the latest concern. He left Saturday's exhibition loss to Miami with a left knee injury. Unlike the torn Achilles' tendon suffered by defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu in training camp, Beason insisted after the game he had not suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament.
There was speculation Beason, wearing a brace and on crutches Saturday, had injured his medial collateral ligament.
A team spokesman declined to reveal the results of Sunday's scheduled MRI exam.