As he watched several of his teammates go down with injuries in the second half Thursday, Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman couldn’t help but wonder if the short week played a role.
The Panthers beat the Saints 23-20, but injuries overshadowed the result and the particulars. It was the second game in five days for both teams.
The Panthers had four injured players leave in the second half and not return – linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion), defensive end Mario Addison (foot), nickel back Leonard Johnson (chest) and center Ryan Kalil (shoulder).
Saints running back Mark Ingram left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return.
I know how I feel going into a Thursday. It’s not the same way as I feel on a Sunday.
Coleman raised the question of whether the abbreviated week contributed to the spate of injuries.
“You never know. It is what it is. That’s the way the league is,” Coleman said.
“I don’t know what the statistics say, and some may say it’s the exact same. The same amount of people get hurt on a Thursday as they do on a Sunday, you don’t know,” Coleman added. “I know how I feel going into a Thursday. It’s not the same way as I feel on a Sunday. But both teams are feeling the same way and it’s a fair, competitive match.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera declined to be brought into the discussion, as did tight end Greg Olsen.
I could barely take a step without getting a cramp and it was 50 degrees. It was bizarre. -
But Olsen echoed Coleman’s sentiments about how he felt different physically Thursday.
“I don’t know the last time I felt like that in the fourth quarter,” Olsen said. “I could barely take a step without getting a cramp and it was 50 degrees. It was bizarre.”