CHARLOTTE – Ahead of their home opener against the Bills, the Panthers handed in a completely clean injury report. Two weeks later, Carolina has ruled out five players for its visit to New England.
Center Ryan Kalil, who woke up the morning of the Bills game with a sore neck, will miss his third straight contest. The Panthers will also be without starting cornerback Daryl Worley, who strained a pectoral muscle against the Saints. Kevon Seymour will start for Worley.
"He's long, he's got good speed, he's got a quick twitch and he's got good ball skills," Rivera said of Seymour, who the Panthers acquired in a trade from Buffalo early this month.
"What really helps is he was up in Buffalo during the preseason with Sean (McDermott) and those guys. That's probably made his transition a lot smoother."
The three other Panthers listed as out are linebacker Jeremy Cash (calf), defensive end Daeshon Hall (knee) and wide receiver Curtis Samuel (back).
Before the Panthers used their second-round pick on Samuel this spring, he missed just one game in three seasons at Ohio State. But his rookie year, which was interrupted by a sprained hamstring this spring and summer, continues to be derailed by injury.
"It's disappointing that Curtis tightened up and had a little bit of an issue yesterday and today," Rivera said. "He's made some great strides. He's really looked very good for us. It's just one of those things you ask a rookie who didn't practice two days in a row to be ready to play, and we don't want to do that to him or the team."
There is some good news, though. None of the Panthers are listed as doubtful or questionable. That means guys who missed at least some practice time this week like quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder), wideout Kelvin Benjamin (knee) and linebacker Thomas Davis (rib) are good to go.