Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants Aug 13th
Start Date: August 13, 2011
End Date: August 13, 2011
Time: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants Saturday, August 13, 2011
All eyes will be on Cam Newton when the Carolina Panthers start up their 2011 preseason with Saturday’s matchup with the visiting New York Giants, a game that will mark the highly-anticipated pro debut of the No. 1 overall pick of this year’s draft.
Fans at Bank of America Stadium will likely have to wait a little bit for their first glance at Newton, last year’s Heisman Trophy recipient who guided Auburn University to an undefeated 2010 season capped by a win in the BCS National Championship Game, however. The heralded young quarterback is currently second on the Panthers depth chart behind second-year man Jimmy Clausen, a 10-game starter during Carolina’s miserable 2-14 campaign from a year ago.
While Clausen is expected to get the starting nod against the Giants, Newton should take the field at some point of the first half and may even receive a few reps with the first-team offense.
The two signal-callers will be operating with a depleted corps of wide receivers on Saturday, however. Top target Steve Smith will miss the opener after dislocating his finger in practice last week, while fellow projected starter David Gettis may be held out after experiencing both hamstring and knee issues early on in camp.
Another rookie to watch when Carolina competes for the first time under new head coach Ron Rivera will be defensive tackle Sione Fua, a third-round choice in April’s draft who’s been elevated to a starter’s role following a season- ending torn triceps to veteran Ron Edwards.
The Giants will also be coming into Saturday’s contest with a few injury concerns, not to mention some unwanted drama as well.
New York won’t have its 2011 first-round selection, cornerback Prince Amukamara, on the field until at least October after the Nebraska product broke his left foot in his first practice. Reserve corner Bruce Johnson, meanwhile, is out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in camp.
Osi Umenyiora also won’t participate in the opener, as the disgruntled defensive end remains at odds with the organization over his contract situation. Though the prominent pass rusher has returned to camp following a brief holdout, he has yet to take part in practice due to a knee injury.
Tight end Travis Beckum, New York’s intended successor to free-agent departure Kevin Boss, is also a candidate to sit out Saturday’s game because of a sore hamstring.
Two Giants players who missed all of or the majority of last season due to injury are slated to see action, however. Mathias Kiwanuka, over a career- threatening neck problem that limited him to just three games in 2010, has been working as the team’s starting strongside linebacker after spending the majority of his career as a defensive end, while wideout Domenik Hixon returns from a torn ACL sustained last summer to compete with 2010 preseason star Victor Cruz for the No. 3 receiver job.
Carolina will also be using Saturday’s tilt to break in a host of new veteran additions that includes tight end Jeremy Shockey, who spent his first six NFL seasons and made four Pro Bowls with the Giants from 2002-06.
These teams last squared off in Week 1 of the 2010 campaign, with New York registering a 31-18 victory in the first regular-season game held at New Meadowlands Stadium. The Giants also prevailed in their most recent preseason clash with the Panthers, a 24-17 home triumph in 2009, though Carolina has won five of the seven all-time exhibition matchups between the two.
8/13/2011 Saturday 8:00pm
Airing locally on FOX TV.