CHARLOTTE – After some time to put their feet up and reenergize, the Panthers returned from their bye week, and brief relaxation was immediately replaced with urgency.
"We obviously have a sense of urgency," fullback Mike Tolbert said. "The week off definitely helped us; I think it helped everybody. We're ready to get back to work.
"We don't have any more bye weeks. We're here throughout the rest of the year. We have to come out and get wins. It's crunch time."
The season may still be young, but for the 1-4 Panthers, it is very much crunch time.
"If we want to do something special we've got to win now," defensive end Charles Johnson said. "We're back at it. We're on our grind trying to get this 'W', trying to get this streak going."
The Panthers entered the bye week frustrated with their 1-4 record, but a Week 7 matchup at home against the Dallas Cowboys presents an opportunity for a fresh start.
"We know we're so much better than what we've been putting out there," Tolbert said. "This team is better than 1-4. We have to show it every day."
As practice resumed on Monday, head coach Ron Rivera liked what he saw from his players.
"Mentally, they were into this week already," Rivera said. "Physically, they looked refreshed."
The players know there is little room for error, and a winning performance is critical coming off the bye.
"Every game is a must win game, but I feel there is extra pressure on us for this game," Johnson said. "We need a win bad, especially at home. We want to start the new quarter (of the season) with a 1-0 start."
INJURY UPDATE: Linebacker Jon Beason (knee), cornerback Chris Gamble (shoulder) and offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner (knee) practiced on Monday after missing Week 5 against the Seahawks and Rivera was pleased with their progress.
"We'll see how all three of those guys react to the work they got today when they come in tomorrow for treatment," Rivera said.
Wide receiver David Gettis, who has been on the physically unable to perform list since Aug. 27 with an injured hamstring, is set to return to practice on Wednesday. Once he does practice for the first time, the Panthers have three weeks to add him to the active roster, place him on injured reserve, or keep him on the PUP list.
Rivera said defensive end Antwan Applewhite was the only player missing from Monday's practice after re-aggravating a knee injury that forced him out of action in Week 4.