CHARLOTTE — The Panthers began the week without their star rookie safety, as Jeremy Chinn missed Wednesday's practice with a knee injury.
"Just something coming out of the last game," head coach Matt Rhule said. "Sometimes, when you're a rookie, you've got some things from college that can get aggravated. We'll just kind of play it by ear and see how he feels over the next couple days."
Because Chinn plays multiple positions in Carolina's defense, it would be difficult for one player to replace him in Sunday's game against Kansas City.
"You would just play different people in more traditional roles," Rhule said. "You'd have to just (say) on this package, here's our nickel, here's our WILL (weakside linebacker), here's our safety."
Defensive end Brian Burns advised Chinn not to rush back too soon with whatever is ailing him.
"I told him to rest up," Burns said. "It's probably more serious than what he thinks."
But running back Christian McCaffrey was on the field and in uniform for the portion of practice open to media. Wednesday was his first padded practice since being designated to return from the reserve/injured list last week. The Panthers need to activate McCaffrey to the 53-man roster for him to play on Sunday. Because he's not currently on the roster, McCaffrey does not appear on the injury report.
"He looked like Christian — he looks good, he looks sharp," Rhule said. "I'll see how he does tomorrow, but obviously, I'm very helpful that he can play. We're excited to see him play. But I also understand that we have to see how the body reacts."
Cornerback Rasul Douglas was also back for his first practice after coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Douglas has been an integral piece of the Panthers' secondary since they claimed him off waivers in Week 1.
"Getting him back definitely gives us a great boost of confidence," cornerback Donte Jackson said. "Just to get to see him in the building is definitely a great, great feeling."
You can check out the entire injury report by clicking here.
View photos from Wednesday's practice as the Panthers returned to the field to prepare for the Chiefs.