The Carolina Panthers got a handful of players back at practice on Wednesday morning, though most were in a limited capacity.
Linebacker Shaq Thompson (knee), defensive tackle Vernon Butler (ankle) and Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil (shoulder) all worked out on the sideline or unused practice field as team workouts commenced.
Thompson and Kalil went through speed ladders and both looked mobile, and Butler worked largely on the push and pull sleds.
“We’re going to see how (Shaq) is tomorrow,” in terms of practice participation, Rivera said. “It’s important, when you go through that intensive workout, it’s always about how the leg reacts. If he’s fine in the morning, we may get him on the field. We’ll see.”
Rivera added that Butler did “a lot more” than last week off to the side of the field.
“Hopefully he’ll react very well to the stuff that the trainers did on the side and maybe we’ll get him back tomorrow.”
Kalil tried to “battle through” his shoulder sprain on Saturday in an attempt to play Sunday in Los Angeles, said Rivera.
“We’re going to be smart about this,” he said. “I watched him work out Saturday, hitting the pads and the sleds and just felt that going forward we make sure we were being smart.”
Defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee) did not practice and instead spent much of the media’s portion of practice on the stationary bike. Center Gino Gradkowski (knee) also did not practice but went through walkthroughs and installation periods.
Running back Jonathan Stewart also did not practice, but did not do much last week either and still saw plenty of carries against Los Angeles. Collin Jones is also working through the concussion protocol.
Absent from workouts during media’s portion was left tackle Micahel Oher, who continues to go through the concussion protocol. Oher has now been in the protocol for 41 days, but Rivera did not comment on whether the staff had considered de-activating him for the remainder of the year.
“At the end of the day, he’s in the protocol,” said Rivera. “I can’t tell you one way or the other. I most certainly don’t want to speak for what Michael has to say.”