SPARTANBURG Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis remains sidelined with a strained calf, but coach Ron Rivera said an MRI exam revealed no damage to Davis surgically repaired knee.
Davis, attempting to come back from three ACL surgeries on his right knee, met with the teams doctors Thursday.
Davis has not practiced since injuring his leg July 29 during the teams second training camp practice. He said earlier this week his knee was OK, and the MRI confirmed that.
He had a little tweak on the calf muscle. The knee was fine, Rivera said Friday. Thats the best news we got.
Rivera said the Panthers would continue to be cautious with Davis, who made it through training camp last year before re-injuring his knee in a Week 2 loss to Green Bay.
The whole approach will be to be careful with him and well evaluate him as we get into next week, Rivera said. Were really relieved that its just one of those things thats kind of cause and effect. Now its just a matter of him getting back on the field.
GETTIS GETTING CLOSER: Wide receiver David Gettis is running full speed a year after tearing his ACL at Wofford, but he is not ready to return to practice, Rivera said. The Panthers placed Gettis on the active physically unable to perform list, but he can come off at any time.
Gettis was expected to compete with Brandon LaFell for the No. 2 receiver spot.
I think Brandon LaFell has really stepped up and is starting solidify that position as our No. 2 guy, said Rivera, adding he would not rush Gettis back before he was ready.
INJURY REPORT: Defensive tackle Ron Edwards sustained another camp injury, although this one is not nearly as serious as the torn triceps that sidelined him all of 2011. Edwards is expected to miss a couple of days after hyper-extending his knee, Rivera said.
Second-year offensive tackle Lee Ziemba was examined Friday after a player rolled up on his knee at Thursdays practice. Rivera said he would know more about Ziembas status Saturday.
Cornerbacks Brandon Hogan (knee) and Josh Norman (hamstring) remain out; three undrafted receivers Hubert Anyiam, Lamont Bryant and Rico Wallace missed another day with hamstring injuries.
• The Panthers had a light practice in shorts and helmets Friday before a small crowd at Gibbs Stadium. The earlier start time and accompanying heat likely attributed to the light turnout.
• Wide receiver Louis Murphy and cornerback Nate Ness had a quick back-and-forth. Ness, acquired Thursday, covered Murphy down the sideline and batted away a pass with his right hand. (An unidentified Panther then shouted at Ness, Fresh legs!) Murphy got his redemption quickly, beating Ness down the middle of the field on a double move and into the end zone.
• The NFL is expected to have replacement officials work Sundays Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The regular referees have been locked out since June 3 and may not come to a resolution with the league in time for the regular season. Rivera said he had no concerns about the replacement officials, but declined to comment further, noting its a league issue.
As walk-throughs wrapped up Friday, Rivera took his place atop a Gatorade cooler to speak to huddled players. Cam Newton had grabbed the cooler by the handle as the horn blew for walk-throughs to break and wheeled the orange cooler in front of the head coach. The quarterback kept his hand on the handle to steady Rivera during his entire speech to the players.
• Following the walk-through, offensive linemen Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil, and Geoff Hangartner with a combined weight of 900 pounds rode a golf cart up the hill to lunch. A sticker on the cart read: Heavy Hauler, Property of the O-Line. The motor manufacturer should be commended.
THREE QUESTIONS WITH...
Offensive tackle Bruce Campbell
Q: Your dad was drafted by the New Jersey Nets (in 1978). Guessing you played basketball?
Yeah, I was a basketball player and pretty much had a love for that growing up. Started playing football, so things change. I stopped playing as a senior in high school.
Q: Youre with a new team playing a new position. Were you excited when you heard about the trade?
Yeah, I was excited. At first I didnt know what the trade really was. I kind of had to research and read into it and fully understand it. Once I realized what the trade was, I was like this is a new opportunity and a fresh start. I just went off and Im going to try to take every advantage of this opportunity.
Q: Do you think youre better suited as a tackle than as a guard?
I do. You dont see many 6-7 guards. Its hard to be tall inside when you go against a lot of players that are mostly under 6-4. Its hard to stay low for me inside. Im used to space because thats what I had coming through high school, and in college (at Maryland) I was at left tackle. So I like being out in tackle.
GETTING TO KNOW...
Tackle Matt Reynolds
Height: 6-4 Weight: 310
College: Brigham Young
NFL experience: None. At BYU, Reynolds tied a school record by starting in all 52 games he played. He earned All-Mountain West honors two seasons and All-Independent his senior year after helping anchor an offensive line that allowed zero sacks in five games.
The scoop: Reynolds is an undrafted free agent whos competing for a spot on a team thats deep at tackle. With Byron Bell and Jordan Gross as the projected starters, Reynolds is going against Garry Williams, Bruce Campbell and Ziemba for a backup position.
Bet you didnt know Reynolds is the oldest rookie on the Panthers squad by two years, at age 26. He spent two years on a church mission after high school in Munich, Germany, before taking a redshirt his freshman year at BYU.