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Carolina Panthers

Four Practice Takeaways

1. ALLEN MISSES PRACTICE: Defensive end Jared Allen has played through his share of injuries over the last 11-plus seasons, but never one quite like this.

"Out of everything I've played with, this is probably the weirdest thing," Allen said, "because things just go numb."


Allen didn't practice in Carolina's return from its bye week Tuesday, instead spending the day getting treatment for a pinched nerve in his back suffered on the eve of his Panthers debut a week-and-a-half ago. Allen started that game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played throughout the first three quarters before watching down the stretch.

"He tweaked it in the walkthrough leading up to the Tampa Bay game, and he played with it and played pretty well until it just bothered him too much," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We took him out for the fourth quarter and rested it, and he's been getting treatment ever since.

"It's calming down, and he told me today that he's feeling better."

Allen said it was weird how he suffered the injury – by just getting "a little bumped" by a teammate.

"The next thing you know, I couldn't feel my leg," he said.

Allen played through it against the Buccaneers and said he felt he made more of an impact against the run than the pass because he couldn't generate any drive because of the numbness.

Allen, who has missed four games in his entire career, was asked if he could play if the Panthers had a game today.

"I'm walking, aren't I?" Allen said. "I missed one game with pneumonia and one when I tore an MCL on a Friday. I probably should have played."

View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game versus the Seahawks.

2. COTCHERY RETURNS: The Panthers won't release an injury report until Wednesday, but Tuesday's practice participants did include wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who took to the field for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2.

"It felt good just to put cleats on again," Cotchery said. "We're just taking it day by day, and today was a good start. We'll see how it feels in the morning.

"Right now, it feels pretty good."

Cotchery was a big contributor to Carolina's season-opening victory at Jacksonville, catching four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown, and he was off to a good start when he suffered the injury in the home opener against Houston. His injury led to the promotion of Brenton Bersin off the practice squad, and Bersin has responded to the opportunity by catching five balls for 67 yards.

3. SEAHAWKS ON THE MEND: Carolina's next opponent, the two-time reigning NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, have injury concerns of their own, but Rivera isn't concerning himself with them.

Running back Marshawn Lynch has missed back-to-back games but is expected to practice later this week. The next step isn't as clear for linebacker Bobby Wagner, who suffered a pectoral injury in Sunday's loss to Cincinnati – the same injury that Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis managed to play through at Tampa.

"The last few games they haven't had Marshawn, but we're getting ready to play him on Sunday. We believe we're going to play their best," Rivera said. "In the back of your mind, you should always prepare for their best player. If you do anything less than that, you're going to cheat yourself. Then all of a sudden their best player is out there – what are you going to do?"

4. TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE: Rivera and Co. were pleased but not satisfied by how the team looked in its first practice in six days.

"It was pretty good," Rivera said. "The nice thing I asked them how they felt about practice, and some of the guys said, 'Well, it could have been better.' And I said, 'Good. I'm glad to see your expectations for what we need to do are higher.' It was good to hear them say they thought we could turn it up a notch, and that's what we're going to do tomorrow.

"But I thought the guys moved around well and that the decision-making process on both sides of the ball was good. I thought the attitude was good coming back."

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