CHARLOTTE – Cornerback Kevon Seymour missed the entire 2018 season with a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason, but he had a great spring and was off to strong start at training camp.
"I felt like I was making a mark," Seymour said, "just showing the coaches and my teammates that they can count on me and I can be reliable this season."
Then he injured his hamstring. Frustrating? You bet.
"It can be tough, especially if I let it get to me (mentally)," Seymour said. "But I'm just staying positive. I know I can help this team. I'm trying to get healthy so I can get back out here and help the team win."
Seymour took a step in the right direction Sunday, practicing in a limited capacity. It was his first practice since suffering the hamstring injury early on at camp.
"It felt good to be out there with the boys. I'm limited still, but I did a lot more than what I've been doing these last few weeks," Seymour said.
"I've been out a good amount of time. Last year I had my shoulder and this year dealing with a hammy – it's no fun at all. But you have to take it slow that way I won't set myself back any longer."
Head coach Ron Rivera really liked what he saw from Seymour before the fourth-year corner got hurt. The speedy Seymour can be an important depth piece for the Carolina secondary.
"You saw how good he can be. He was progressing very nicely," Rivera said. "He has a specific skill set that can really help you. He's a good-sized corner, he's strong, he's fast – he's a 4.3 kid."
Seymour said he's hoping to make his preseason debut in the final exhibition against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Rivera said the plan is for Seymour to play if he's indeed cleared.
Gaulden moving forward
Second-year safety Rashaan Gaulden didn't make the trip to New England for the third preseason game. When asked about it after the game, Rivera labeled it a "coach's decision."
Here's what Gaulden had to say after Sunday's practice: "I want to be there with my teammates. Going forward I'll do everything I can to help my teammates. Not going to go into any specifics as far as what happened or what went on. The good news is I'm here, I'm healthy and I look forward to helping this team going forward."
Paradis, O-line building trust
Rivera expressed disappointment with the way the offensive line performed against the Patriots, and center Matt Paradis didn't sugarcoat it.
"We just have to improve. That wasn't what we were looking for," Paradis said. "We'll use that as a learning tool."
The starting O-line has only had a few game reps together, and Paradis acknowledged it's going to take some time to become a truly cohesive unit. And as the center, Paradis knows a lot of it starts with him.
"The biggest thing is for them to trust me and trust my calls," Paradis said. "We'll have a play here or there where I'll make a call and everybody looks at me and I go, 'Trust me.' Then it works out and it just kind of starts to work through it."
While we're talking about the O-line, this was an interesting quote from Rivera on the luxury of not having throw second-round pick Greg Little and sixth-rounder Dennis Daley into the fire just yet: "Thank goodness they're not being thrown into the mix right now. They've got time to develop and grow. Quite honestly, eventually, they are going to be the future."
Reacting to Luck's stunning announcement
Former first overall pick Andrew Luck shocked the league when the 29-year-old Colts quarterback announced his retirement Saturday night.
"That kind of took everybody by surprise," Paradis said. "I didn't really believe it last night when I first saw it. Football is hard. Not everyone can do this. It's not for everyone."
Luck sighted his ongoing struggles with injuries as the primary reason he felt it was time to step away.
"That was tough. A guy we watched for a long time. He's a heck of a young man," Rivera said. "It's one of those things, some guys just feel that's best for them. So be it. You hope they get healthy and stay healthy. He's a tremendous competitor and a tremendous football player and as far as he's concerned, it's time to call it a career."
View photos from Sunday morning's practice in Charlotte.