The Carolina Panthers could have Kelvin Benjamin, their number one wide receiver, back on the practice field as early as tomorrow, according to head coach Ron Rivera. The team has been very cautious with Benjamin, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury suffered prior to the team’s first week of OTAs.
Hamstring injuries is never a good thing, especially for wide receivers, and is something that can linger. Fortunately for the Panthers and Benjamin, this injury happened at this point in the offseason. There was no reason for urgency and could give the injury plenty of time to heal.
It could have also been a blessing in disguise because this created an opportunity for second round draft pick Devin Funchess get extra reps in practice. According to The Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones Funchess has had the chance to play in different spots within formations. “He’s been in positions where the Panthers usually play their No. 1 (X) and No. 2 (Z) receivers and at a spot closer to the offensive line (F receiver).”
While this certainly could help speed up the learning curve for Funchess, the Panthers need Benjamin on the field and contributing for this offense. Last year the Panthers overhauled the receiver position and Benjamin was the key piece. As a rookie he far and exceeded expectations with 73 receptions, 1,008 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Brandon Croce is the Lead Publisher for PantherInsider.com. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonCroce.Quarterback