Panthers Update 6-4

Get the latest info on the Carolina Panthers as they finish up their first week of "summer school". Who returned? Who sat out? How much do the Panthers have left under the Salary Cap? Find out... INSIDE!

-- According to league sources, the Panthers are about $4.5 million under this year's salary cap. After signing their draft picks, the team should have less than $800,000 in cap room. That, however, would be enough to sign a low-priced veteran or two in case of an unexpected injury.

"Fresno State is maybe not a household name here on the East Coast, but he played against very stiff competition and we were able to evaluate him against top-notch competition. He has good ball skills and good awareness and his head coach is a guy who has coached in this league and seen what it takes to play in this league. He came with a very high recommendation." -- Panthers head coach John Fox on second-round draft pick Richard Marshall.

-- Clearly, the one position completely up for grabs this year is the "Will" or weak-side linebacker spot, where the Panthers will need to find a replacement for Will Witherspoon.

Among those competing for the job include free agent pickups Keith Adams from Philadelphia and Na'il Diggs from Green Bay, as well as last year's sixth-round draft pick Adam Seward and this year's third-round selection James Anderson. In a pinch, the Panthers could also move Chris Draft over from inside linebacker.

As of right now, it appears Adams and Diggs have the inside track into winning that starting job, but things could certainly change.

"They are veteran guys," coach John Fox said. "They started in their respective places in green Bay and Philadelphia and they are guys that are younger and athletic. So they have the right blend of experience and yet are still semi-youthful. They performed at a high level and now we have to train them in our system."

Thomas Davis is slated to start at the "Sam" or strong-side linebacker spot. Davis is expected to remain on the field when the Panthers to go multiple defensive back sets.

-- Running back DeShaun Foster wasn't the only notable player to return from injury on Wednesday. Also back for the Panthers were defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, wide receiver Keary Colbert and safety Colin Branch, all of whom sat out rookie minicamp last month due to various injuries.

Jenkins was the most notable of those returning early since he is only eight months removed from surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He was unavailable to speak to the media on Wednesday as the linemen left the practice field early to lift.

Fox said now it's a matter of making sure not to push them too hard, too fast and risk further injury.

"It's a fine line and it's one of the things you deal with as a head coach," Fox said. "You want to have guys battle ready, but you have to have enough guys to go to battle with."

Only defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead (knee) was held out last week because of injury.

-- The Panthers cut cornerback Garnell Wilds after he was unable to pass a physical. Wilds was recently injured in a motorcycle accident. Since it was considered non-related to football, the Panthers were able to waive Wilds.

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