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Injury to Bruce Campbell makes Panthers even thinner on offensive line

SPARTANBURG The Panthers keep getting thinner along their offensive line, an area already considered a liability.

Carolina cut starting right guard Geoff Hangartner during the first week of training camp, and rookie guard Edmund Kugbila can't get healthy. Now the Panthers have lost their first tackle off the bench, with Bruce Campbell scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on his rotator cuff Friday.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it was likely a season-ending injury for Campbell, who arrived last year in a trade from Oakland for running back Mike Goodson.

“Probably,” Rivera said Monday when asked if Campbell is out for the year. “But we won't know until he has the surgery just what exactly it is or how bad it is.”

Former Panthers lineman Travelle Wharton, recently cut by Cincinnati, worked out for the Panthers last month. But Wharton is looking for more money than the Panthers offered, according to league sources.

Rivera said Campbell had graded out well against Chicago last week while playing both tackle spots.

Rivera indicated the Panthers would not fill Campbell’s roster spot immediately, saying right guard Garry Williams could play tackle if needed. Nate Chandler, who moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle in the spring, is expected to get increased reps.

Meanwhile, Kugbila suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Kugbila aggravated the injury during Sunday’s practice and was out again Monday.

Kugbila, the team's fourth-round pick, missed most of OTAs and minicamp with a knee issue before pulling his hamstring during the first practice at Wofford. Rivera said it would be at least a week before he returns.

“I'm a little disappointed about what happened with Kugbila,” Rivera said. “We brought him out (Sunday) and (Monday) he was a little bit more sore than we had hoped. So that might be a little bit of a setback.”

MORE INJURIES: Rivera also indicated receivers Armanti Edwards (hamstring), Domenik Hixon (hamstring) and Joe Adams (calf) would likely miss Thursday's game at Philadelphia. Edwards has had a good camp and has been working as the No. 3 receiver in place of Hixon, who has been out for a week and a half.

Rivera said he hopes Hixon, a free agent acquisition who was the third wideout with the Giants, will be back next week. Hixon, who also missed minicamp, has been unable to develop any timing with quarterback Cam Newton.

“Not getting the opportunity to work with these guys is going to be critical for us as we go forward,” Rivera said.

Defensive end Louis Nzegwu missed practice for personal reasons.

CAPTAIN CONFIDENT: Friday night’s two-interception performance by Josh Norman raised his stock in the defensive backfield after the former starter lost his spot two-thirds of the way through the 2012 season.

Munnerlyn has held down the starting role at cornerback opposite veteran Drayton Florence throughout camp. Despite Norman’s big night, Munnerlyn said he doesn’t feel any pressure from the second-year player.

“Me? Pressure? No,” Munnerlyn said. “I like competition. And I’m sure everyone else in the backfield, in the secondary, likes competition. No pressure at all. Just continue to do what I’m doing out there and hopefully Josh can continue to make plays. When he makes a play, I know I got to make a play.”

Norman won the starting job over Munnerlyn last training camp, sending Munnerlyn to the nickel role.

Observations

•  Williams and safety Haruki Nakamura left practice early because of illness, and there might be something going around. Center Ryan Kalil and defensive end Greg Hardy also said they weren't feeling well.

•  Rookie defensive tackle Kawann Short was getting winded and eventually came out when the Panthers were practicing their hurry-up offense. Defensive tackle Casey Walker, 6-1 and 345 pounds, also was struggling.

•  With bad weather quickly approaching, Rivera decided to cut practice short by about a dozen snaps during team drills. The rain began to fall just as Rivera finished addressing the media.

•  The Panthers announced a crowd of more than 44,300 fans have watched Carolina practice at Wofford College this training camp. The attendance at Fan Fest puts that total at close to 65,000.

•  Cornerback James Dockery had surgery Monday on his broken thumb, which Rivera estimated would keep him out about two weeks. Dockery tweeted the surgery went well and thanked those who sent him well wishes.

3 questions with RB Tauren Poole

Q. You recorded the running backs’ “Just My Imagination” video at a Spartanburg Waffle House. Why didn't you want to get in front of the camera?

A. I was a little sleepy and DeAngelo (Williams) was like, ‘You don't have to be in it since you're tired. You can just record it.’ So I recorded it for them. It was off improv. I was like, ‘I’ll record it. Y’all do what you've got to do, and we'll see how it goes.’ I heard that it made the Web like crazy.

Q. How did that come about?

A. DeAngelo, Stew (Jonathan Stewart) and (Mike) Tolbert, we were just sitting there. And they were already pretty loud at the Waffle House, it was like 10 o’clock at night. They were loud as anything. They’ve got the little jukebox in there. And DeAngelo was like, ‘Let’s do a skit.’ They just came up with the idea. I heard people loved it.

Q. Who has the best moves out of the running back crew?

A. Probably Tolbert. As you know, he celebrates touchdowns. He does his Dougie, does his little Tolbert dance. He probably has the best moves out of the running backs.

Getting to know …

K Morgan Lineberry

Height: 6-1

Weight: 200

College: Abilene Christian

NFL experience: Rookie

The scoop: Lineberry signed as an undrafted free agent in May after finishing as Abilene Christian's all-time leader in made field goals (50) and third-leading scorer (290 points). Lineberry has a strong leg: He was the only player in his school's history to make four field goals of 50 yards or more. But he's been inconsistent throughout camp, and figures to be released when rosters are trimmed later this month.

Twitter handle: @MorganLineberry

Recent tweet: Tonight was a good start: got a team win and made my debut in an NFL box score. #isthisreallife?

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