Counting down to Panthers' game

We should see plenty of the Carolina Panthers’ starters in Sunday night’s game against the New York Jets.

Coach Ron Rivera has said he expects to play the starters into the third quarter. Rivera also said linebacker Thomas Davis is expected to play.

Davis has been attempting to return from a third torn ACL, but that’s been hindered by a calf injury. Davis returned to practice in recent days. I’d expect Rivera to be cautious not to use Davis too much, but the Panthers to need to get a look at the veteran linebacker to find out how healthy he is as they get ready to trim their roster.

I’m also looking forward to watching what the Panthers do at cornerback. They’d like to move Captain Munnerlyn to nickel back, but they’ll only do that if they feel really good about one of their young cornerbacks.

One starter we won’t see is receiver Steve Smith. He’s recovering from a foot infection. Louis Murphy probably will start in Smith’s place, but I think you’ll see the Panthers taking long looks at young receivers like Kealoha Pilares, Joe Adams, Armanti Edwards and Jared Green because they’re going to have to make some big decisions at that position when they reduce the roster.

I’ll be back soon after the game ends with observations on the Panthers and will break in if there are any significant developments during the game.

Meantime, feel free to use the comments section below to discuss what you see out of the Panthers.