The Carolina Panthers pass rush will be missing a piece tomorrow as rotational defensive end Antwan Applewhite was downgraded for 'doubtful' to 'out', and did not make the trip to Atlanta with the team.
While he may be the 2nd or 3rd option off the bench, Applewhite brings a much needed veteran presence to the pass rush, and without him the Panthers will rely more than ever on Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy to hold up without a consistent backup.
in his absence it will be up to Thomas Keiser to become that pass rush specialist, a role he's all too familiar with. Keiser does not have the size to be an every down rusher, but consistently makes plays when he's on the field. In ten appearances for the Panthers in 2011 and 2012 he has totaled 17 tackles, and 4.5 sacks. With a little complexity on defense Carolina should be okay without Applewhite, but any losses to the pass rush are concerning for a unit that has struggled getting to the QB as much as the Panthers.