CHARLOTTE — The Panthers were without a few key players on the practice field on Wednesday, but they had some important parts back as they prepared for this week's game against the Buccaneers.
On the other hand, the good news was the return of cornerback Jaycee Horn (ribs) and linebacker Frankie Luvu (shoulder). Both were limited and wearing green jerseys during practice, but getting them back on the field would be a significant step for a defense that was running out of bodies.
Luvu has missed the last two games, and Horn missed last week's game.
By the end of the Rams game, the Panthers were down to Keith Taylor Jr. and practice squad call-up Tae Hayes as the only cornerbacks left on the field, and as long as Jackson and Henderson are missing, they're still very thin there.
The Panthers were also without center Pat Elflein (hip) and quarterback Baker Mayfield (ankle) Wednesday. Mayfield was on the field and running around without a boot, but he wasn't practicing. Quarterback PJ Walker was not listed on the report after he left last week's game with a neck injury (he also cleared the concussion protocol), so he could be in line to start a second straight game since Sam Darnold only began practicing Wednesday after missing the last seven weeks with an ankle injury.
Elflein was not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media.
So far this season, the starting five offensive linemen have taken every snap of all six games. Bradley Bozeman would likely replace Elflein if he didn't play this week.
Also Wednesday, linebacker Cory Littleton (groin), defensive end Henry Anderson (elbow), defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis (neck), safety Sean Chandler (hamstring), and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) were limited participants.
Shenault has missed the last two games, so having him back on the field was a plus after the team traded Robbie Anderson Monday.
Running back Christian McCaffrey (rest) took his normal Wednesday off.