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Benjamin prepping for extra attention

Posted Aug 15, 2014

Panthers challenging rookie wide receiver in practice to get him ready for what's to come from defenses.

CHARLOTTE – Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin may have just one catch so far in the preseason, but the Panthers are preparing the rookie for added attention that's likely to come from defenses.

"Defensively, we've done some things to put him in situations where he is being jammed, being pressed, being doubled, being rolled to," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He's got to get used to it. He's done pretty well. It's probably different than what he had to experience in college, but in this game it really is a matter of how you handle it."

Benjamin will be running routes for Cam Newton on Sunday night. Rivera confirmed that the quarterback will start and play at least the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wide receiver Philly Brown will get an extended look on punt returns as the Panthers try to find answers in the return game.

"Philly will get an opportunity this week to show us what he can do," Rivera said. "I know he did it his junior year in college. He's got that kind of ability."

Rivera said defensive end Charles Johnson (hamstring), who returned to practice on Thursday, will get 12-15 snaps in his preseason debut.

Linebacker Chase Blackburn, who suffered a back injury on Thursday, will not play against the Chiefs, although MRI results showed that the injury doesn't appear serious.