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Update: Jones returns to practice

UPDATE: The news defensive back Colin Jones received from the doctor was better than expected. Jones, who had been sidelined with a groin injury, returned to practice Tuesday after meeting with a specialist.

"To have him back out here is great," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He looked really good. He had a nice big smile on his face."

August 31, 2015

CHARLOTTE – It appears the Panthers could be without safety and special teams standout Colin Jones for an extended period.

Jones, who injured his groin during the second to last day of training camp practice, will see a specialist for further examination.

"That's much more than a tweak," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He's going to see a doctor and we'll go from there."

With Jones out, Carolina's safety depth takes a hit. But Rivera is more concerned about the impact of Jones' absence on special teams.

"We have a couple guys battling for that backup position, so we'll see," Rivera said. "But it's really going to be about whose role is going to improve on special teams. Colin was one of our aces. We need to find guys that can fill that role more than anything else."

D-LINE ABSENTEES: Defensive ends Charles Johnson and Mario Addison missed Monday's padded practice.

Johnson, who had returned to practice after overcoming a calf injury, was held out with a sore trapezius. Addison was battling a stomach bug.

Rivera said Johnson is still expected to play Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Not concerned. The plan is for him to play. We just wanted to keep him out of today's last padded practice," Rivera said.

"The last thing I want is his first preseason rep to be in the regular season."

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