Monday Panthers Practice Observations

Will we see any starters Thursday? We’ll know Tuesday

The fourth preseason game is a matchup where we mostly see the players who are still looking to earn a roster spot, but this preseason has been a little different for the Panthers. With Cam Newton sitting out the first two preseason games before making his debut last week at Jacksonville, Carolina’s first-team offense has not gotten a lot of game reps together. But do they need to? Ron Rivera said it’s a decision they’ll make Tuesday. In the meantime, the focus this week is on the rest of the roster and the players who are not locked in.

“We have a good roster of young guys, and guys that we have to make decisions on. It’s been a very competitive camp it really has. We feel very strongly about our top 25-26 guys. After that you have to start thinking about other guys and it will come down to the very end where you get to those last couple of spots and this is an opportunity for some young guys to prove to us that they belong,” Rivera said.

First- team reunited: Greg Olsen reacts

Speaking of the first-team offense, we saw them together for the first time on Thursday against the Jaguars. It was only one drive, but it only took one drive for the Panthers offense to go 75 yards in 6:26 and score a touchdown. Greg Olsen says it was a great start, but there’s plenty more to do.

“We got to keep building on that. It’s going to take a lot more than that over the course of the season. It was a good start, I think the biggest part was just having everyone in the huddle for the first time together. I think that was kind of nice to see the full squad out there together in live action, so we just have to keep building on that.

Graham Gano feels confident

On Sunday, Ron Rivera said the competition for kickers and punters is even, but it hasn’t phased Graham Gano. The Panthers kicker said the competition this preseason hasn’t been on the forefront of his mind, but continuing to improve has. Gano said he’s confident with where he’s at right now, especially after an offseason surgery to fix a so-called “ballerina injury.”

“I’m healthy, so it’s been a lot easier for me. Getting the bone fixed in my foot makes a huge difference and having consistency at holder is really good as well. Andy (Lee) and Mike (Palardy) have been doing a great job. Last offseason we had like seven holders so I feel like as a unit we’re doing really well,” Gano.

Injury Report

Worked on sidelines

Vernon Butler

Corn Elder

Fred Ross

Daeshon Hall

Brenton Bersin

LJ McCray

David Yankey