Slowing down running back Michael Turner has never been an easy task for the Carolina Panthers.
But it might be even more difficult to put the clamps on him in Sunday’s divisional rematch against the Atlanta Falcons (7-5) with both starting defensive tackles moving to injured reserve.
The Panthers were hurting from injuries on defense even before losing rookies tackles Sione Fua and Terrell McClain for the year on Tuesday. They’ll be counting on second-year player Andre Neblett and undrafted rookie Frank Kearse to plug the middle and keep Turner from running wild — again.
Turner has destroyed the Panthers since joining the Falcons as unrestricted free agent in 2008, running for 651 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in his last six games.
Despite the Panthers' solid showing against LeGarrette Blount and the Bucs' running game last week, we're expecting a big game from Turner. The Falcons are better at running the ball and won't abandon Turner if he gets off to a rocky start.