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Panthers Training Camp Observations: Day 13


Play of the Day

Wide receiver Damiere Byrd picked up right where he left off. Two days after Byrd caught two touchdown passes in the preseason opener, quarterback Joe Webb targeted the speedster in the back of the end zone during a red zone drill, and Byrd came down with an impressive contested catch against safety Kurt Coleman.

Like he did with his 8-yard touchdown grab versus Houston, Byrd again proved he can be a factor on short and intermediate routes – not just the deep shots he's known for.

"If you can open up underneath quickly, you're going to cause defenses to react a certain way," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Guys like that, that's what you try to find."

Injury updates

Defensive tackle Vernon Butler was not in attendance after injuring his knee against the Texans. Head coach Ron Rivera provided an update on Butler when he met with the media.

Center Gino Gradkowski left practice early and watched the rest of it with his left knee wrapped up.

Wide receiver Brenton Bersin (quad) and tight end Scott Simonson (hamstring) did not practice after suffering injuries against the Texans. Rookie wide receiver Fred Ross was back in action after sitting out a few days with an undisclosed injury.

Additional practice notes

  • After periods of heavy rain hit Spartanburg, the Panthers moved their afternoon practice to Gibbs Stadium, which offered better footing than the practice fields.
  • With Newton still held out of team drills and Derek Anderson getting the day off, Webb got a lot of work. After some struggles early, including an overthrown deep ball to Kelvin Benjamin that made for an easy interception by safety Mike Adams, he made some nice throws against the first-team defense.
  • Arguably Webb's best throw was in the red zone, when he zipped a pass to Benjamin down the seam and between three defenders for a touchdown.
  • Highlights from the 7-on-7 period: Wide receiver Russell Shepard reached out for a tough catch over the middle with cornerback Daryl Worley all over him, and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn tracked down and knocked away a long shot for speedster Kaelin Clay down the sideline.
  • It was a frustrating day at times for tight end Chris Manhertz, who bobbled a pass in the red zone that was picked off by linebacker Jeremy Cash. Left tackle Amini Silatolu chased Cash and shoved him to the ground, which got a rise out of the defense.
  • Linebacker Jared Norris and offensive tackle Taylor Moton had a little dust-up after a rep during team. Norris joins Luke Kuechly as linebackers who've been a bit miffed with the hulking rookie. They weren't the only ones getting into it, as Byrd and Munnerlyn had a brief exchange. Teammates got a kick out of two former Gamecocks going at it.
  • Newton had some "fun" with kicker Harrison Butker, yelling over the rookie's shoulder as he lined up a field goal attempt from 53 yards out. Butker's attempt sailed just wide left. Graham Gano knocked one in off the left upright a moment earlier to complete a 3-for-3 day.
  • The crowd loved the effort from safety L.J. McCray, sprinting across the field to get there just in time to break up a deep pass to Keyarris Garrett.
  • Kuechly ripped through the line of scrimmage to stop Christian McCaffrey for a loss during a late red zone drill.
  • Wide receiver Mose Frazier capped the day with beautiful touchdown catch on a fade pattern against cornerback Jeff Richards.

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