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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Harris misses practice


Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's practice.

On injuries: We had one player that did not participate, Chris Harris, and we're changing that from shin to knee after the evaluation process.

On how safety Chris Harris was injured: He got kicked in the knee.

On how Harris feels: Not well enough to practice today.

On the importance of getting off to a good start in the first three games before the bye: I'm not thinking about the first three, I'm thinking about the first one and that's the Philadelphia Eagles. It's opening weekend in the National Football League. I think guys are excited. You get a chance to define what you're going to be, and we've got a great, worthy opponent to start off with.

On where the defense is after implementing a new scheme in the offseason and playing without several starters during the preseason: It's just like a lot of teams - the team we're playing has had a lot of starters out through the preseason. That's what is exciting about opening weekend. Right now you don't really know what to expect because they haven't been in there together, at least in game situations. They've been in there together in practice. That's why you play the game.

On if it was encouraging to have running back Jonathan Stewart practice two consecutive days: Yeah. Any time you have your players out there it's better than when they're not out there. I think he proved a year ago that he's a quality player and that helps your cause on game day.

On if he has decided who will return punts: No. We're evaluating. We've got guys back there. We've got a couple of guys who have done it in the past in both Steve Smith and Chris Gamble. The other likely candidates would be Kenny (Moore) and Captain Munnerlyn.

On if wide receiver Steve Smith would be an option to return punts considering how valuable he is on offense: There are some pretty valuable guys who are return men around the league. The team we are playing this week, their number 10 (DeSean Jackson) is a pretty valuable receiver as well as a punt returner, so it's not uncommon.

On if he would prefer to have a veteran returning punts: I'd prefer somebody who executes that position. That would be true of any position.

On free agent punt returner Mark Jones: We weren't able to pass him on the physical, so I really can't answer that.

On if the team plans to bring Jones back for another physical: That might be an option but it might not be.

On if the decision to bring Jones back will be based on how the players currently on the roster do: That and how we hold up physically. These things change minute-by-minute.

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