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Inactives: Miles Sanders not expected to play in the opener


CHARLOTTE — The Panthers want to play the regulars on offense a bit during the preseason to break in all the new parts, but one important one won't be out there for the preseason opener against the Jets.

Running back Miles Sanders will be held out Saturday after suffering what head coach Frank Reich described as a "tweak" to a groin muscle late in training camp.

Without Sanders, Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear will likely get a fair number of reps Saturday, as they want the first offense to get an amount of work across the preseason games, so they go into the regular season ready — since the first two games are division games.

Outside linebacker Brian Burns isn't expected to play Saturday, and veteran Justin Houston isn't expected to either after arriving last week.

That will give the young group including Yetur Gross-Matos, DJ Johnson, Amaré Barno, and Kobe Jones to get more work, as they look for depth at that position.

Burns had an excellent day of practice during the joint workouts with the Jets on Wednesday, recording a number of would-be "sacks" against Aaron Rodgers and the Jets' starting offensive line. That capped an excellent camp for the pass-rusher, the key piece of their transition to a 3-4 defense.

Also not expected to play in Saturday's game will be rookie offensive linemen Chandler Zavala and Nash Jensen, guard Austin Corbett, tight end Stephen Sullivan, and wide receiver Damiere Byrd, along with outside linebackers Marquis Haynes Sr. and Jordan Thomas, cornerback Mac McCain III, and kicker Eddy Piñeiro.

Check out scenes from the Panthers' first joint practice against the New York Jets on Wednesday.

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