It would only be fitting if the next step in Colin Coles football odyssey is to start Sunday against Seattle, his last team before a two-year hiatus from the game.
Cole will start at defensive tackle for the Panthers if Dwan Edwards cant play due to a thigh injury, coach Ron Rivera said. Edwards did not practice Friday and is listed as questionable.
Cole, 33, signed a five-year, $21million deal with the Seahawks in 2009, and started 26 games over the next two seasons. But after four ankle surgeries and a coaching change ended his time in Seattle, Cole was out of football until cold-calling the Panthers during the offseason.
Whether he starts Sunday or not, Cole said playing against his former team is a dream come true.
I really felt like I got the short end of the stick there and I really planned on being there for years. This would have been my fifth year out of my five-year deal. I was supposed to be making $5million this year, Cole said. A humbling experience, with football completely taken away from me.
Cole, who will make the veteran minimum $905,000 this year, signed the five-year deal in Seattle when Jim Mora was the coach. Mora was fired after one season and replaced by Pete Carroll, whom Cole referred to as the guy thats there now.
The Seahawks brought in new general manager John Schneider along with Carroll, and Cole said he didnt fit their plans.
And when I was injured and wasnt able to perform, they decided to go another route, Cole said. Theyre obviously one of the better teams in the NFC right now. One of the hotter teams. They get a lot of hype. Theyve done a lot of things to better their football team.
Cole, 6-2 and 335 pounds, was living in suburban Charlotte when he called the Panthers during the offseason. Carolina was looking for a nose tackle. Cole worked out for the Panthers, was offered a contract, and made the team.
Rivera said if Cole starts against his old team, it would be well deserved.
Hes done a great job for us, had a great camp. Hes really dedicated himself to getting back, Rivera said. We have enough confidence that we do think he could be that guy again.
Short introductory period: Strong safety Quintin Mikell looks like hell start Sunday, less than a week after joining the Panthers on Labor Day.
Mikell, an 11-year veteran who played the past two seasons in St. Louis, is expected to replace Mike Mitchell, who is doubtful with a calf injury. Mitchell was the starter throughout the preseason before straining his calf before the exhibition finale against Pittsburgh.
Rookie running back Kenjon Barner (foot) and cornerback James Dockery (thumb) are the only players who have been ruled out. Wideout Domenik Hixon (hamstring) and starting left guard Amini Silatolu (hamstring) are questionable.
If Silatolu doesnt play, Rivera indicated it would be a by-committee approach at left guard, with recently signed Travelle Wharton and Buffalo castoff Chris Scott sharing reps.
Cock fighting: Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is looking forward to matching up with Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice again. The two were teammates at South Carolina, where during one of his first practices coaches threw the freshman Munnerlyn into a 1-on-1 drill against Rice, who is two years older.
They lined up me and him, and everyone was like, Uh oh. Im a young, hot guy at the time. Im like, I dont care. Im just playing football, Munnerlyn recalled. They threw a jump ball and I actually took it from him. Thats how I got my name down there in Columbia. They changed my number and everything.
Rice has been bothered by knee issues, but is expected to play Sunday.
Injury settlements: The Panthers have reached injury settlements with wide receiver David Gettis and safety Anderson Russell, which removes them from injured reserve. Depending upon the lengths of the settlements, both players could re-sign with the team this season or with any other team.
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