Jon Beason made the Pro Bowl last season, partly because of DT Maake Kemoeatu, who clogged the middle and kept the Panthers’ middle linebacker free to roam and unleash hard hits.
Beason won’t have Kemoeatu this season, though, and he wants the Panthers to find him some help.
Beason believes the team might be able to sign a good, veteran player when other clubs start making cuts later this month.
“Some teams are deep at D-tackle,” Beason said, according to The Associated Press. “They’re going to wait until the end of training camp if somebody gets hurt. You don’t want to let somebody who can step up and play go too early.
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the end of training camp, but Maake was a big loss for us.”
Kemoeatu sustained a season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon just minutes into the Panthers’ first training-camp practice two weeks ago, leaving Nick Hayden as the likely starter in the middle of Carolina’s defensive line. Hayden played in two regular-season games last year — one of them a Week 16 game in which the Giants shred the Panthers for 301 rushing yards.
Coincidentally, the Panthers and Giants will meet in their preseason opener Monday night.
Carolina coach John Fox addressed Beason’s concerns after practice Saturday, telling the Panthers’ website that if the right veteran becomes available, the team will look at him.
“We can bring in somebody, but the problem is you want to improve your team whoever you bring in,” Fox said. “When that guy arrives or that guy shows up, we’ll entertain that. Right now, we’re working very hard with the guys we have. We’ll see kind of where we are (against the Giants) and go from there.”