Panthers hope Beason is ready for opener

There were a couple of significant developments on the injury front out of Carolina’s practice Wednesday morning.

Coach Ron Rivera said linebacker Jon Beason had a minor procedure performed on his Achilles tendon on Tuesday. Rivera said the team still hopes Beason, who never has missed a regular-season game, will be ready for the regular-season opener. But this sounds like a close time frame. On the bright side, the Panthers have depth at linebacker. Dan Connor has started before and can step right into the middle with James Anderson and Thomas Davis on the outside.

Rivera also said quarterback Jimmy Clausen is questionable because of soreness in his throwing (right) elbow. The Panthers already were planning to start rookie Cam Newton and play him for about three quarters in Thursday’s preseason game at Cincinnati. Clausen already appeared to be trailing Newton in the competition to be the opening-day starter.

Clausen’s only shot at jumping past Newton appears to be if the rookie has a bad outing against the Bengals and Clausen comes in and plays well. But, if Clausen’s elbow isn’t ready, that’s not going to happen.