Morgan's impact felt on field, in locker room

Morgan

Dan Morgan's stat line was fairly modest -- seven tackles and no big plays like interceptions, fumble recoveries or sacks. And yet Morgan's impact could be felt on the field and resonated through the locker room on Sunday.

The Panthers were happy to have their defensive leader -- the guy they voted captain despite his history of injuries -- back on the field against the St. Louis Rams. The Panthers have long said they are a different defense when Morgan plays, and that was evident again in Carolina's 27-13 win.

"I'm not trying to slight (backup) Adam Seward or anybody else, because they're good players, but when you've got a player like that, that's been to the Pro Bowl and is a great player, it's hard to replace that when somebody's hurt," said defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. "A lot of people don't realize how big it is. He's directing the play-calling. He's the link to the defensive coordinator. He calls the plays, gets everybody lined up and everything.

"That's missed when you have somebody in there who might not be as sharp as Dan. It's just good having him back, having the plays being called knowing what we're supposed to do, so we can focus on what we have to do."

Morgan said he thinks the defense, which limited St. Louis to 11 yards rushing in the second half, did well.

"We did a great job," Morgan said. "We got caught in some change of possession situations and we did a good job of holding up and buckling up. I thought there was some great communication out there."

Morgan said he didn't worry about his history of concussions when he stepped on the field.

"No, not at all. I was out there having fun, just like I told you I was going to do," Morgan said. "I was out there enjoying my teammates."

A first-round draft pick in 2001, Morgan is still trying to make it through his first 16-game NFL season. Until he does so, he'll probably always have to answer questions about concussions.

"I don't care. They can keep coming. That is part of what has happened to me and I understand that," Morgan said.

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