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Panthers introduce game-like situations

Posted Jul 29, 2013

SPARTANBURG S.C. – The Panthers completed their second consecutive padded practice Monday on the Wofford College practice fields.

The session featured the debut of hurry-up and fringe red zone portions of team drills.

"They looked good, it was good back-to-back days," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We can get better, obviously, but there were a lot of good things that did happen.

"I’m really excited about what we‘ve done in the first couple days in pads."

The fourth practice of training camp also featured a visit from a special guest as NBA legend Jerry West observed the action with team Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson.

"He’s one of those sports icons that you grow up idolizing and watching," Rivera said. "It was really kind of neat to have him here."

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES: Given the Panthers' recent injury history and with significant injuries occurring around the league seemingly every day during training camp, the team is doing all it can to keep the roster healthy.

The Panthers put 18 players on injured reserve each of the last two years – a team record.

"The biggest thing is really restructuring the way we are doing things this year, trying to create much more time for these guys to get off their feet," Rivera said. "You guys hear me yelling it every time we get into a walkthrough period or change from one side of the field to the other about the trainers watering them down. That's been an emphasis."

For the most part injuries are impossible to control, but that won't stop the Panthers staff from trying.

"They are fluke things. They just happen. You kind of hope that you are not a victim of it," Rivera said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed, we'll keep working hard and hopefully we'll have some luck this year. It's been tough the last two years with the amount of injuries we've had. You'd like to get out of camp with a minimal number so going into the season you're healthy."

HEALTH UPDATE: As expected, linebacker Jon Beason (knee), running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and guard Edmund Kugbila (hamstring) did not participate. Linebacker Thomas Davis (hamstring) again sat out team periods.

Defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh missed practice, as did center Jeff Byers, who also sat out Sunday's practice with a minor knee injury.

Left tackle Jordan Gross was given a veteran's day off.