The Carolina Panthers have officially ruled Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner out for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Turner entered the concussion protocol Monday and has not exited yet, coach Ron Rivera said Friday afternoon.
Rivera also confirmed that backup guard Amini Silatolu, who has been a healthy scratch for the last two games, will start in Turner’s place.
“Amini has practiced very well, plus he has started for us at that position so he knows the position,” said Rivera. “He is very physical in the way he plays, one of those guys who (if he) gets his hands on you, he’s got a chance to do something. He’s got good power, too, that’s the other thing we like about him. For as effective as we can be running the ball, especially this time of year down the stretch, it’s important for us.”
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Tyler Larsen, the team’s backup center who also has guard experience, was inactive Sunday against Minnesota with a foot injury. He did not practice Friday and was listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game, but Rivera hopes he will be available should the team need to reach into its depth.
Another factor in Silatolu getting the start over Larsen at guard is that Larsen has taken most of his snaps in both practice and in games this year as the center, with starter Ryan Kalil returning from injury last week.
Rookie Taylor Moton also has guard experience, but Rivera said that he will not rotate in for Silatolu and will probably just stay in the team’s “jumbo” package, in which an extra tackle is used, because Moton has gotten most of his practice snaps at tackle this week.
Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson was also ruled out of Sunday’s game while he continues to recover from plantar fasciitis.
Receiver Devin Funchess was questionable with a shoulder injury, although he is expected to play.