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Meet the Kansas City Chiefs enemy: 5 questions on the Carolina Panthers

We talked with SB Nation's Carolina Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, about Sunday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Check out the Panthers view of things over at Cat Scratch Reader. Q&A below.


1. The Panthers defense was excellent last year. Will we see a group that good on Sunday night?

CSR: Yes, the majority of the starting defense is healthy and my expectation is they should play the first half Sunday night. DE Charles Johnson, who missed the Panthers first preseason game, is expected back, although not 100 percent sure on that. Certain players may come out early, like Johnson and LB Thomas Davis.

2. Is Cam Newton 100 percent healthy? How long do you expect him to play?

CSR: Cam Newton does appear to still be favoring his ankle a little but he has been a full participant in practice this week. Consequently, I expect him to play the first half behind the first team offensive line Sunday night.

3. Who is one player on offense I don't know but probably should for this game?

Prediction if this were a regular season game: Panthers 20 Chiefs 16

CSR: TE Brendan Williams came out of the regional combine process in 2013 and is getting a lot of playing time. Newton nicknamed him ‘Swole Bones' -- as in swollen bones -- because the guy is a physical specimen. A former basketball ball player, Williams is muscle-bound with practically zero body fat but really soft hands. His footwork and blocking have been his areas of concern but he's come a long way in the past year. The Panthers have been throwing to him down the middle of field a good bit in practice.

4. Who is one player on defense I don't know but probably should for this game?

CSR: DT Kawann Short has been tearing it up so far in camp and preseason. The former second round pick has been overshadowed by his rookie classmate Star Lotulelei in the press but not on the field. Look for Short to get into the rotation early and play most of the game. He may challenge for a starting job before this season is a wrap.

5. What would your prediction for the game be if this were the regular season?

CSR: Given it's a home game on a Sunday night I would predict a close Panther victory in a low-scoring affair. Honestly, I expect most of the Panthers games to be low-scoring affairs based on the state of the offensive line and the offense as a whole. So something like, Panthers 20 Chiefs 16.

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