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New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers: 8:40 p.m. Monday (ESPN)

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Panthers’ FB Mike Tolbert misses practice as wife gives birth

Two Panthers starters missed practice Thursday for non-football reasons. Fullback Mike Tolbert was out Thursday after his wife gave birth to their second child on Thursday morning. Rivera said mother and child are healthy.

Left tackle Jordan Gross took a veteran day off and spent the portion of practice open to the media on the exercise bike. He’s expected to play Monday.

Linebacker Chase Blackburn (foot), tight end Ben Hartsock (knee) and guard Chris Scott (knee) did not participate. Rivera said Saturday’s practice will be the “big day” for Blackburn’s availability come Monday.

Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards was limited in practice but Rivera said Edwards took the reps he was supposed to Thursday.

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