Folks it looks like the Dan Morgan curse has reared it's ugly head again in 2009. But first for those of you who are unfamiliar with the curse, here is a brief description and history...
By definition "The Dan Morgan Curse" is defined as: an appeal to some supernatural power to inflict injury upon a Carolina Panther team, player or position. The curse is appropriately named after Dan Morgan the most injury ridden Panther player in recent history. Morgan was selected in the 1st round of the 2001 draft, 11th overall. The Panthers had big hopes for this 2004 Pro-Bowl linebacker. However due to continuous injuries and concussions he never played more than 13 games in a season, and averaged only 8 games per year.
The Dan Morgan Curse is not confined to a specific period in time, and can effect players before, during or after Dan Morgan's career. In 1996 the curse fell upon an African-born running back named Tim Biakabutuka, when he was selected 8th overall by the Panthers. Like Morgan he too averaged only 8 games per season, and never played more than 12 games in a single season.
In 2007, the curse fell upon Carolina's quarterbacks. After it took Jake Delhomme out in game 3 of the regular season, it continued to spread to each of his successors... 1st Jake, then David Carr, and next Vinny Testaverde. The Panthers went through 4 starting quarterbacks that year.
In 2004, Dan Morgan's curse struck the whole team! It took out all-pro wide receiver Steve Smith, starting running back Steven Davis, Davis' backup Deshaun Foster and starting defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. In all, the Panthers had 14 players on injured reserve, including their top four running backs.
Due to Dan Morgan's retirement and the Panther's return to dominance in 2009, it finally appeared as if the Dan Morgan curse had been lifted. Not so fast! Within only 30 minutes of training camp starting defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu ruptures his Achilles' tendon. An one by one the dominoes continued to fall effecting linebackers, receivers, running backs and more. It looks like once again the curse is at it again.
Jonathan Stewart may personally have been struck with the curse, and may not recover. In 2007, Stewart's junior year at Oregon, knowing his destiny was in Carolina, the curse fell upon him. Determined to not let it slow him down, he played almost the entire season with a toe injury. Even with surgery in 2008 the injury lingered throughout his rookie campaign. Moving to his entire foot, the curse has kept him out of the entire 09 preseason. And now it seems the curse is even affecting his brain. Players, coaches and staff members all through training camp and the pre-season have been saying that Stewart is fine. But week after week... no Beef Stew is served. Why would the team be so positive, yet he still be sidelined? Could it be that the curse has turned him into a hypochondriac? Could possibly even team doctors be telling him that he is fine, yet he doesn't believe it? Could this be why he took personal time this week? To get a second opinion on an injury that is really good to go? More importantly could this turn into a career disabling, reoccurring issue for the young running back? The signs of the Dan Morgan curse are there.