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Four takeaways from Monday's practice

View practice photos from the third week of the preseason.

ON THE MEND: The Panthers are understandably anxious to get back to preparing wide receiver Devin Funchess for his rookie season. The wait might soon be over.

"He worked today with the trainer and did some route running," head coach Ron Rivera said following Monday's practice. "We'll see how he is tomorrow morning. If he reacts nicely, we'll get him on the field."

Funchess suffered a hamstring injury last Wednesday and sat out Saturday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Funchess suffered the injury the same day the Panthers lost top receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the season to a knee injury. Funchess, a second-round draft choice, is among those who will be called upon to fill the void.

BOYKIN BALLIN: Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, another player who could be part of the solution, caught twice as many passes against the Dolphins as he did the entire 2014 season.

Boykin made six catches for 53 yards and was targeted 12 times.

"I loved it," Boykin said. "I didn't realize the targets were tallying up like that. I was just trying to get into a rhythm and just beat the defender across from me, and the ball just kept coming my way."

That wasn't the case in Green Bay last season, when Boykin totaled three catches after recording 49 the previous season. The Charlotte native is trying to find a new NFL home in his hometown.

"All of that is cool and all, looking up and realizing this is the city I'm in, but nothing is set in stone," Boykin said. "I've still got more weeks, more games, more practices. I can soak it in right now, but the ultimate goal is to actually make the team. As of right now, the things I've done in the past mean nothing."

HORTON HEARS OPPORTUNITY: Defensive end Wes Horton made an impactful play against the Dolphins, sacking quarterback Matt Moore and stripping the ball.

Monday, he practiced with the first team.

"That gave me confidence, getting that sack," Horton said. "That's the biggest part of my game that I'm working on – just trying to be more consistent as a push rusher. I feel like my run-stopping ability is there, but I want to be a more well-rounded end. I don't want to be labeled as just a first and second down guy."

Horton actually started 15 games last season but recorded just three sacks.

"We don't expect one of those (strip-sacks) a week, but to have that on occasion would be outstanding," Rivera said. "He's improved every year he's been here. He's just got to continue to grow."

ROSTER RESHUFFLE: The Panthers waived/injured defensive end Frank Alexander and signed tight end Dallas Walker.

Alexander, who suffered a torn Achilles against Miami, can be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Walker, who spent time with the San Diego Chargers during the 2013 offseason and the Dallas Cowboys during the 2014 offseason, was an invited tryout with the Panthers in May.

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