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Carolina Panthers

Injury Report: Vernon Butler good to go


CHARLOTTE – Defensive tackle Vernon Butler will be available for the Panthers' home opener Sunday against the Bills – along with everyone else.

In an unprecedented situation, no players were listed on the injury report.

"I'm pretty fired up about it. It's good," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We had a good day today – we call it 'Fast Friday' – and everybody was involved. All the guys that had gotten their rest were back out there. All the guys that had some sort of nick got a chance to practice. It was neat to see them all out there."

Butler missed the season opener when his recovery from a knee injury suffered in the preseason opener took slightly longer than hoped.

"It was good seeing Vernon running around," Rivera said. "We're pretty excited about his chance to play on Sunday."

Back in 2015, at least one of the nine players that didn't fully participate in every practice this week would have been listed on the final injury report as probable. But the NFL eliminated that designation last season, and with everyone fully participating Friday, no one needed to be listed as questionable.

The question now is which seven healthy bodies will be declared inactive for game day.

"It will be interesting. We'll talk about everybody, but we have an idea," Rivera said. "It's going to be a good thing for us to really for one of the first times to be able to pick and choose and have the guys up that we feel are ready to roll."

Rivera did reveal one inactive ahead of time. Offensive tackle John Theus, claimed off waivers from the 49ers on Thursday, took a redeye flight to Charlotte and didn't practice Friday.

"Theus is a nice-sized tackle, and he's a Georgia guy – that makes all our Georgia guys happy," Rivera  said. "He's an athletic big guy. He moves very well and has good hand placement. He's just a young guy who has a lot to learn."

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