CHARLOTTE – Kicker Graham Gano is questionable for a second straight week, but this time, it's not because of a sore knee.
"He has some sort of flu or something," said head coach Ron Rivera after Gano missed Friday's practice. "He was sick last night and called (head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion)," Rivera continued. "RV said, 'How you feeling today?,' and he said, 'I'm not feeling too good,' so RV said, 'Well, you stay away from everybody.'"
Because Gano began experiencing soreness in his kicking leg late last week, the Panthers tried out kickers Tuesday, eventually signing Roberto Aguayo to the practice squad. And while Aguayo kicking in Tampa Bay this weekend against the team who spent a former second-round pick on him would make for a juicy storyline, Gano is expected to be good to go.
"We had (Aguayo) working the snap and hold today just in case," Rivera said. "It's strictly an emergency situation, but wow, he's kicking the ball pretty good."
As of early Friday afternoon, Kuechly was still in the concussion protocol. The final step is clearance from an independent doctor, which could happen later Friday.
"Just going through the protocol, the last steps," Rivera said of Kuechly. "He's practiced all three days, full practice."
The middle of Carolina's defense could be further boosted by Coleman, who's missed three games with a knee sprain.
"He had three good days of practice. He practiced well last week, but this week you could see him moving around with more confidence," Rivera said. "So everything's pointing towards he'll be ready to roll Sunday."
The Panthers will be without center Ryan Kalil (neck) in Tampa. His return from a five-game absence last week lasted only one quarter, but Rivera said the Panthers haven't discussed putting Kalil on injured reserve.
Besides Kalil, the Panthers also ruled out running back Fozzy Whittaker (ankle) and offensive tackle John Theus (concussion).