SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Just as one defensive lineman returned to practice, another left early. Defensive tackle Kawann Short was in action for the first time since Day Two of training camp, but defensive end Charles Johnson's day was cut short.
Head coach Ron Rivera did not have any additional information on Johnson's apparent injury, but said he did not think it was serious.
Short had been dealing with nagging back pain. He was limited during Sunday's practice, which featured shorts and shells.
Offensive lineman Amini Silatolu missed practice with a strained right calf.
"It's good to have KK back," Rivera said. "The back kind of calmed down. He had it a couple years ago, and this year it flared up a little bit. They were able to treat it. It was good to have him on the field."
Sunday's session was the first practice since the team's Fan Fest on Friday, and Rivera felt the players were still caught up in the excitement generated by the 55,060 fans in attendance.
"Guys were still talking about it during stretching," Rivera said. "The energy level that was brought to us was really special."
But Rivera wants his team focused on the day-to-day grind of training camp. Fan Fest may have felt like a game day atmosphere, but there is a lot of work left to be done before the Panthers reach that point.
"We have to deliver now. It's on us," Rivera said. "We have to do our part. I really think that's something we have to stay focused in on."