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[Bathroom Reading] Panthers Under Scrutiny Again; 3 Players Caught in PED Scandal

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[Bathroom Reading] Panthers Under Scrutiny Again; 3 Players Caught in PED Scandal

Post by Tony on Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:19 pm

If it is one thing players should have well learned by now it is that the use of performance enhancing drugs will not be tolerated by league officials and the latest announcement coming from the league office merely serves to promote this idea. In a landmark decision that has shocked the world of football, the league has decided to take the hardest stand yet to put an end to this ongoing drama by bringing the hammer down on the offending members of the Panthers organization.

Three players have been scooped up in a sting operation carried out by agents of the league this past week shortly after the team finished playing a wild game at home against the Chargers, a match-up they won 80-3 on the backs of quarterback Geno Smith, a mid-season trade acquisition, and running back Kenjon Barner, a destroyer at his position.

It is in fact these two players, individuals who have been performing at the highest level of game play possible, along with another solid contributor that find themselves under the thumb of the league's disciplinary actions.

Note, when it was mentioned the hammer was brought down, this was not hyperbole. A group of punishments like this combining length of the discipline and the high profile of the players has been practically unheard of in any sport or any situation and will send a chilling message down the spine of players across the league unlike any previous set of suspensions.

Quarterback Geno Smith has been banned for the remainder of the regular season and any playoff games the Panthers make it to, if they do. League sources have cited him as being the ring leader of the group who made his presence on the wrong side of the law, so to speak, very quickly and brought these other players into his fold, hence the seemingly disproportionate punishment compared to other players fingered in this incident.

Running Back KenJon Barner has been suspended for a total of 3 games for his role in the group and Dwayne Bowe, a mid-season acquisition like Geno Smith, has been handed a two game ban.

It is important to note that while these are the suspensions that have been handed down, they are not quite final as the team's owner will surely levy an appeal with the league office to cut down the suspensions of one or all by any means possible. His team is after all coming off a Super Bowl win and possess a commanding 10-2 record this season, leaving them in a prime position to make a deep run to repeat their past season's luck, at least if there is hope in leniency being found that will get these players back on the field to make more impact.

In the meantime, the team's coaching staff must carry onward with the belief that the suspensions will carry on, as will we, and make the best of the situation they find themselves in, as there are still a lot of good players on this team that should be able to rally and make some noise, even if a Super Bowl win is a little bit out of the question.

All three players have become major contributors in recent weeks as part of the Panthers retooling for their presumptive follow-up Super Bowl run so it would seem that the team has certainly hit a bit of a roadblock in terms of reaching that goal.

Backups at quarterback, Matt Scott, and running back, Cedric Steward, will now be thrust into prominent roles on the team as the voids caused by their big brothers on the depth chart being taking off will need to be filled.

Matt Scott will look to prove himself in Carolina by making the most he can of his new opportunity after being an off and on starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars for a number of years until he was finally bounced from the team after new ownership came in and blew up the foundation, ultimately finding himself on the Panthers sidelines.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of the newly found puzzle is second year running back Cedric Steward out of KSU. Given only limited action garnering a whopping 6 carries for 20 yards that figure figures to exponentially increase in the coming weeks of Barner's absence.

The new, young guns of the offense are going to have a rough adjustment period for sure, but their job is going to be made a wee bit easier once their schedule is factored into consideration. The Panthers will remain home next week to host the 4-8 Falcons before taking on the 5-7 Cowboys. Once these two games are completed they get a bit of a reprieve with Dwayne Bowe coming off of his suspension right before Kenjon Barner is relinquished from his.

It's going to be a long, tough road to close out the season. Let's see how well the Panthers. This may have just cleared the path for the Seahawks to swoop in to grab another Super Bowl win uninhibited.

Tony
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