Panthers bracing to be without right tackle Jeff Otah

When it rains, well, it pours if you’re the Carolina Panthers.

They lost middle linebacker Jon Beason, arguably their best defensive player, for the season with a torn Achilles tendon in the season opener at Arizona. Now, it appears they’ll be without right tackle Jeff Otah. That’s the early indication, anyway, after it was revealed he suffered a concussion in the game.

Otah missed Wednesday’s practice and at best he’ll be questionable for Sunday’s game against the high-powered Green Bay Packers. The complex Dom Capers defense is going to create problems for rookie quarterback Cam Newton and without Otah, those problems could be magnified.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said rookie Byron Bell will start in place of Otah if the veteran is not available, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"He played right through it. We went back and watched the tape and it's there clear as day. Somebody caught him on the side of the face," Rivera said.

Given the sensitivity the NFL has with concussions right now, it’s hard to imagine many teams will announce a player has had one and then play him the next week. But it’s a case-by-case thing and we’ll see where this goes. Hopefully, Otah is 100 percent soon.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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