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Jeremy Chinn at least another week away

Jeremy Chinn

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers could use some help at safety at the moment, but Jeremy Chinn is at least a week away from contributing.

Interim coach Steve Wilks said Wednesday that Chinn wasn't expected to be activated this week and that next Thursday's game against the Falcons was a more likely target. Chinn hasn't been designated to return from injured reserve, and spent Wednesday's practice watching from the sidelines alongside former Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis.

"He works out, and he's still got a little bit of soreness, and I really don't want to try to push it too soon," Wilks said. "So I'm going rely on the training staff as well as his opinion and how he feels, so we'll make a decision here as we get closer. Definitely not this week; we'll hopefully be able to shoot for Atlanta."

Chinn suffered a hamstring strain early in the game against the Cardinals in Week 4, and tried to return that day. But further tests the following day revealed a more serious injury.

"When it first happened, yeah. I thought I was going back in the game," Chinn said. "The next thing I know, I'm getting an MRI, and I'm on IR.

"Initially, it was worse than what I thought it was on the field. But I'm a pretty fast healer, and I take pride in taking care of my body. I knew whatever it was, if it's something keeping me off the field, it's not something small."

The Panthers were also without Chinn's replacement in practice Wednesday.

Veteran Juston Burris was held out after suffering a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. (You can see the full injury report here.)

The Panthers have used Myles Hartsfield there, and Sean Chandler got some reps on defense after Burris left the game. They also have safeties Marquise Blair and Kenny Robinson on the practice squad if they need some short-term cover this week. Blair was elevated from the practice squad in Week 4 and Week 5.

Eddy Piñeiro

— Wilks said Wednesday was a good bounce-back day for kicker Eddy Piñeiro, who missed a potential game-winning extra point in regulation and a game-winning field goal in overtime against the Falcons.

While he said he leaves the mechanical parts of the operation to special teams coach Chris Tabor, Wilks said he focused on being positive around his kicker.

"I'm more encouraging, but also understand that we get paid to do a job as well," Wilks said.

The Panthers built a little extra incentive into Wednesday's work, as they had Piñerio kick at the end of a two-minute segment of practice to replicate game situations, and Wilks said that Piñeiro had some "good kicks." He also has the support of his teammates, who rallied around him in the locker room Sunday night and throughout the week.

"It's just really the culture that we've created," Wilks said. "And we talk about brotherhood; we talk about family. We talk about the 'act of a champion,' that accountability, commitment, and trust. And we build on that with one another. And as we all know, and as I stated, no one person lost his football game. So it was encouraging to see that they are rallying around Eddie."

Piñeiro remains in the top half of the league in field goal accuracy (87.5 percent) and touchbacks on kickoffs (23).

— While there was plenty of speculation about a number of Panthers players involved in trade talks leading up to Tuesday's deadline, none were moved, and Wilks said that was fine with him.

"We feel like, again, we have great talent in that locker room," Wilks said. "It's great that we're able to keep it. You're right; we do have a core, and we're looking to try to build on that moving forward."

Check out the best photos from Wednesday's practice as the Panthers prepare to take on the Bengals this weekend.

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