Panthers MLB Beason will miss preseason opener

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera says three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Jon Beason is not expected to play in Saturday night's preseason home opener against the Houston Texans after injuring his left hamstring.

Beason tore his Achilles tendon last year in the same leg and missed 15 games.

Rivera says Beason tweaked his hamstring on Wednesday, but did not initially think it was that bad. Rivera said Thursday "he tweaked it a little bit more than we anticipated."

Beason did not practice Thursday.

Rivera says the Panthers (No. 20 in AP Pro32) hope to have Beason back at practice next week. Rivera says Jason Phillips will start in Beason's spot.

Receiver Steve Smith returned to practice Thursday after missing a day with a bruised knee.