CHARLOTTE – After missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, wide receiver Philly Brown was a full participant during Wednesday's practice. He's set to return to action, but will he return to the starting lineup? "It's a secret," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess has started opposite Ted Ginn, Jr. in place of Brown and played well, recording six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in those two weeks.
Brown was also playing well prior to suffering the shoulder injury. He had just one catch for eight yards in Week 10 against the Titans, but had a touchdown reception in each of the previous two games.
"We're looking at everything," Rivera said. "And a lot of it depends on what (offensive coordinator) Mike (Shula) calls for the first personnel group. (Philly) could be in there, he might not."
Regardless who starts, both players will have a substantial role to play and both bring very different attributes to the offense.
"Funchess stepped in and did a great job, just like he is going to continue to do," Brown said. "We haven't missed a beat. I'm just going to keep practicing and show (the coaches) that I am ready to go."
Brown might be ready, but it looks like cornerback Charles Tillman and defensive end Mario Addison are going to be sidelined for Sunday's game at the New Orleans Saints.
Tillman, who has missed the previous two games with a knee injury, and Addison, who suffered an ankle injury in the win at Dallas, did not participate in Wednesday's practice.
"Still concerned," Rivera said of Tillman's status. "He's out there doing a lot with the trainers, but he hasn't been able to get any reps. We're trying to be smart and make sure he's OK.
"They decided to keep (Mario) out another day. As far as Sunday's availability, it's not looking good right now."
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game against the Saints.