The Carolina Panthers were up and at ’em on Saturday morning for their ninth practice of training camp. Here are the most notable notes from the early Spartanburg session.
Injuries continue to pile up
AP Photo/Nell Redmond
The Panthers are seeing more red, particularly in their secondary.
CJ Henderson, who rolled his ankle yesterday, hit the practice field with a non-contact design—making him the latest cornerback to sustain an injury. On top of Rashaan Melvin retiring before the start of camp last week, the defense has been down the following corners at one point or another thus far: Jaycee Horn, Keith Taylor Jr. and Duke Dawson.
Wideout Terrace Marshall Jr., who wore red on Friday, and guard Deonte Brown also joined the non-contact group.
Then, in a more serious development, defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr. was carted off into the locker room following a left knee injury. Head coach Matt Rhule did not have an immediate update following practice.
Ikem Ekwonu gets added reps at LT
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Ekwonu, who keeps battling Brady Christensen at left tackle, saw a notable amount of action from the blindside. Rhule, who previously said his 2022 first-round pick has a “long way to go” in his development, stated that action was more about getting in reps:
“At the end of the day, we wanted him to get about 40 plays today. And we wanted Brady to get about 35 to 40 plays. Some other guys like Moton, we were like, ‘Hey, let’s get him 30.’ So we had different rep counts on everybody. Those young guys—Cade Mays, Ickey—they need all the reps they can get. We’re nowhere, anywhere near saying, ‘Hey, he’s the starter,’ right now. To me, that’s an ongoing process.”
Big decisions coming after Patriots matchup
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
On Aug. 19, the Panthers will travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots for their second preseason tilt. They’ll also lock up for joint practices in the days leading up to the exhibition matchup.
And that’s when, according to Rhule, some headway will be made into determining his starters.
“I don’t see us making any major decisions at any position, I’m not putting a timetable on the quarterback position. But at anything. Even like you guys asked me left tackle. ‘Til after we get from the Patriots week. I think the Patriots week is like, true litmus test for us of ‘Hey, where are we really?’ We’re going against another team, we’re practicing. I think that’ll really show us where guys are.”