CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are getting positive injury news on multiple fronts entering Week 1.
"We're headed in the right direction," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Starting cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Josh Norman practiced Monday and appear on track to play in the regular season opener. Tillman suffered a concussion in the third preseason game against the New England Patriots. Norman suffered one in the preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Tillman is out of the protocol. He passed everything," Rivera said. "Josh passed one of the last phases of the protocol. Since today was non-contact, he was able to practice, which was great. He's got one more hurdle to clear and he should clear that, hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday morning."
All-Pro center Ryan Kalil, who injured his knee in the second preseason game against the Dolphins, got some work on the side and is also on track to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Kalil looked good today. Ran well," Rivera said. "We're excited and we'll see how he reacts to everything in the morning."
Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who injured his foot early in training camp, is making steady progress. He worked with head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion during practice.
"It's been tough," said Lotulelei, who wouldn't discuss his status for Week 1. "I want to be out there, but I've got to get through this, got to make sure it's 100 percent before I come back because it is a long season."
In addition, defensive end Charles Johnson (trapezius), wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (groin), safety Colin Jones (groin) and cornerback Teddy Williams (groin) practiced Monday.
Johnson did not get any game action in the preseason, but he's been working on his conditioning and is preparing to play.
"I'm going to be ready," Johnson said. "Going to try to go into Sunday full speed."
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game at the Jaguars.