SPARTANBURG Linebacker Thomas Davis had limited participation in full pads at Mondays practice for the first time all training camp.
Davis, coming off his third knee reconstruction, suffered a strained calf in camp and had not taken part in drills until Monday. He did not play in Saturdays preseason opener, either.
But in Spartanburg, the eight-year linebacker did position drills and saw time at his position in 7-on-7s, though he did not participate in team drills.
We got a little bit of work for Thomas, coach Ron Rivera said. Were going to gradually work him into it. We still have 31/2, four weeks of the preseason left, but it was good to see Thomas back on the football field.
Sitting out another practice was fellow linebacker Jon Beason, who is recovering from a hamstring injury. Beason was not in pads Monday.
In the depth chart released after practice, rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly is listed ahead of Davis at the weakside linebacker while Beason is listed ahead of Saturdays starter Jason Phillips at middle linebacker.
Linebacker James Anderson said he expects Davis and Beason to come back soon.
Why push? Why rush? You want to make sure when these guys come back they can go 100 percent, Anderson said. You can rush. You can get a guy back at 80 percent, then you take the chance of him doing that same injury again. From what Ive seen, the guys are moving around good.
MESSAGE RECEIVED: Rivera didnt hide his disappointment in his teams effort Saturday. He used the term disappointed at least 10 times in his postgame news conference, applying it to special teams, his young players and his team overall in the second half.
He said the team understood the message he sent and showed it at practice. He pointed at the defense as the tone-setters for the first practice since Saturdays 26-13 loss to Houston.
Once the offense came out and saw what the defense was doing, they picked it up, Rivera said. A lot of times you look for something to lean on, and today we ended up leaning on the defense. Then we picked it up and practiced well as a team.
SENN INJURY: Jordan Senn came out of Saturdays game during the second half with what appeared to be a wrist injury. The linebacker actually dislocated his left pinky finger when he hit the ground the same pinky he dislocated in camp.
If it was a real game and I didnt trust the people behind me, I would probably stay in because it wasnt really that serious. But I knew Kion (Wilson) would come in and do great so I didnt feel like I needed to come back in.
Senn popped the finger back into place and said he will tape his pinky and ring fingers together for the immediate future.
NO PUP FOR HOGAN: Rivera said there are no plans to put cornerback Brandon Hogan, who continues to have knee issues from surgery in December 2010, on the physically unable to play list.
The second-year cornerback out of West Virginia played in the last three games of the 2011 season for the Panthers and recorded four tackles. Hes also overcoming a quadriceps injury on the same left leg on which he had surgery.
The thought is to getting Brandon healthy and back on the practice field. He had a good day today. He was in the weight room doing some real heavy lifting on the leg, so thats starting to come back, Rivera said.
• Quarterback Cam Newton found rookie wide receiver and Charlotte native Brenton Bersin on two sharp passes across the middle. Bersin could be heard shouting Me! Me! as he ran the same route a few plays later and Newton looked for a target.
• Both kickers struggled at practice. Justin Medlock went 2-for-4 on field goals, making from 43 and 47 but missing wide right from 46 and 52 yards. Olindo Mare went 1-for-2 in the first round, was short from 50, and a consensus among reporters could not be reached on his final kick from 51 yards.
• The ball was the issue for the defense Monday. After a Kuechly forced fumble and a Phillips interception Saturday against Houston, there seemed to be a greater emphasis on stripping the ball from receivers hands.
• Defensive tackle Andre Neblett was feeling under the weather at the start of the day, and Rivera allowed him to be excused from practice to visit a doctor. Rivera didnt have an update after practice.
Three questions with
Running back Tauren Poole
Q: There have been some pretty good backs who came out of Tennessee with you. Who mentored you as you came through college?
The obvious answer is Arian (Foster). From Day One when I got on campus, he was the coolest person that I met. I met him after the game and he told me he was proud of me. And that was huge coming from him. Im proud to say I know a guy like him.
Q: Were you surprised to see him burst onto the scene?
No. I saw it in him at Tennessee. He had some rough years at Tennessee, but I saw it every day at practice. And he always had that look about him that he was the best on the field and thats how he carries himself.
Q: Was there a lesson to be learned watching him go through being an undrafted free agent like yourself?
Definitely. I see guys like that. Its a great story and there are a lot of guys in the league like that. Its the amount of work you put in and what are you going to do with the chances you get. Im looking forward to taking advantage of every chance I get.
Getting to know
Defensive end Antwan Applewhite
College: San Diego State
NFL experience: He played in 12 games for Carolina last season, totaling 21 tackles and two sacks. Before his time with the Panthers, he played three years at San Diego, where he started 13 games at outside linebacker in the Chargers 3-4 defense.
The scoop: Applewhite is listed on the depth chart as the No. 2 right defensive end behind Charles Johnson. In Saturdays preseason opener, Applewhite recorded two tackles and had one of three Panthers sacks.
Bet you didnt know: The Panthers are the first team on the high school, collegiate or professional levels outside of California for which Applewhite has played.
Staff writer Joseph Person contributed