Panthers healthier headed to Philly


CHARLOTTE – Head coach Ron Rivera said it's going to take a total team effort for the Panthers to recover from their recent stumbles and make a late-season push.

The good news is that nearly the entire team will be available for the first step in that process.

Cornerback Bene Benwikere and guard Trai Turner will be out for Monday night's game at the Philadelphia Eagles, but "everybody else is ready to roll," Rivera said.

"It will be nice to see how we play given the fact that we've got some many guys back," Rivera said. "As a football team, we've got to step up. You can point to this or that, but the truth is we've got to do it collectively.

"We've got to do our jobs. We have to be disciplined and mentally tough. It's about doing things to the best of your ability."

The offensive line should be buoyed by the return of its left side with tackle Byron Bell back after a one-game absence and guard Amini Silatolu back after missing the last three games. Rivera said that undrafted rookie Andrew Norwell will start at right guard, with veteran Fernando Velasco – who has started seven games this season – backing him up.

Rivera remained noncommittal on whether Antoine Cason or Melvin White would start at cornerback opposite Josh Norman but said all three would play. He also wasn't ready to say if Philly Brown, who was undergoing the final test in the concussion protocol Saturday, or Brenton Bersin would handle return duties.

Perhaps that's in part because the staff must make some decisions on which seven players will be inactive against the Eagles – a good problem to have. Rivera had virtually no decisions to make before the Panthers' previous two games because all but one of the inactive spots was filled by players already ruled out on the injury report.

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