CHARLOTTE - While many of his teammates will spend their weekend trying to get a brief break from football, Panthers wide receiver
"I'm practicing on Monday," Gettis said. "It's been a long time coming for me, a lot of hard work and a lot of people's prayers. I'm very anxious and very excited."
Gettis is eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list Monday. He suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament 14 months ago that sidelined him for the entire 2011 season, and a hamstring injury on the same leg kept him on the sideline throughout training camp and landed him on the PUP list.
Once Gettis practices, the Panthers have three weeks to decide whether to place him to the 53-man roster or shut him down for the season.
"Physically, I've been good for about a month now," Gettis said. "The last couple of weeks we've been working on the mental aspect. Cutting again - just saying, ‘OK, it's going to be all right' – that's what you really have to focus on.
"I've done a lot of game-type situations, running routes where you feel like you're actually in the game. Obviously, that's not actually a game. It's going to be different when you're actually out there for real, but I think I'm going to be fine."
As a rookie in 2010, Gettis caught 37 passes for 508 yards and a team-leading three touchdowns.
OLSEN TWINS BORN: Kara Olsen, wife of tight end
T.J. must soon undergo the first and most dangerous of three open-heart surgeries. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome six months before his birth.
"They had the babies last night. Both were big – one over eight pounds and the other was almost eight pounds," Rivera said. "T.J. is in the neonatal care unit, and they'll go from there. But so far, so good. We'll keep them in our thoughts and prayers."
WELCOME BACK PARKER: The Panthers have re-signed cornerback
Parker, a second-year player out of Newberry College, started the regular season on the team's practice squad but was added to the active roster Saturday when guard
"We brought Ron up because of the injury with Chris, and we were able to use him on special teams," Rivera said. "He did some good things for us, and he's a young man we want to keep our eye on."