Carolina Panthers No. 2 tight end Ben Hartsock is an unknown to most fans outside of the Carolinas, and he definitely flies under-the-radar. Blocking tight ends- no matter how good they are- are severely underrated by fans, and Hartsock has been the best blocking TE this season. He’s been a big help to the Panthers offense, particularly when you look at how much he helps them schematically. Tight ends who can block almost like an offensive lineman offer a kind of versatility to an offense that isn’t indispensable but is important.
According to the Panthers official Twitter account Ben Hartsock is dealing with an illness and has been added to the team’s injury report for tomorrow’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Hartsock is now questionable to play, and end-of-the-week questionable listings are rarely ever a good sign. Hopefully Hartsock’s condition improves, but he should be considered a toss-up to play at this point. Other than this tweet, no details are known at this point.
Tomorrow’s game between the Saints and Panthers definitely is going to be one of the best games this week, and it goes beyond the fact that these two teams are bitter rivals. There is so much at stake as far as playoff seeding goes, and the Panthers highly disappointing result in their last meet-up is still fresh in their minds; this has the aura of a revenge game for Carolina.
Keep a close eye tomorrow on all updates regarding Hartsock’s status, because his absence would hurt the Panthers in ways that go beyond the box score.