The Carolina Panthers should get rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin back on the field Saturday.
Benjamin, who bruised his left knee last weekend, is expected to return after the first-round pick from Florida State suffered no setbacks while running Friday.
“He ran well,” coach Ron Rivera said. “Depending on how he is first thing in the morning, he’ll probably be on the field (Saturday).”
That’s good news for the Panthers, who are hoping Benjamin can develop into a No. 1 receiver after Carolina lost its top four wideouts from last season.
Benjamin had a good start to camp before coming down hard on his knee after colliding with cornerback Charles Godfrey last Sunday.
Rivera expects Benjamin to pick up where he left off, saying he’s worked with the first team during the daily walkthroughs.
“He made a couple mistakes, but he’s been trying to stay on top of it,” Rivera said.
The Panthers could get two more injured players back Saturday – safety Thomas DeCoud, who missed most of the first week after aggravating a knee injury, and offensive lineman Garry Williams, who is dealing with patellar tendinitis in his surgically repaired knee.
Defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh has an ankle sprain that will sideline him at least a week.
With coaches limiting Newton’s running in camp, Webb is getting a chance to make a case for the Panthers to keep three quarterbacks.
“He’s right in the thick of things for us,” Rivera said. “He’s battling it out.”
The Panthers carried three quarterbacks in Rivera’s first two seasons – Newton, Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen. But in general manager Dave Gettleman’s first year with Carolina in 2013, the Panthers had only two quarterbacks after Clausen was waived-injured at the end of camp.
Webb played receiver last season for Minnesota, but Rivera said he’s being evaluated as a quarterback. Rivera said some of Webb’s best plays have come in the two-minute offense.
“That’s when he’s really natural,” Rivera said. “When everything’s frenetic and frantic and everything, he’s right in the middle of it.”
“It’s a little concerning because the heat is all part of the conditioning. We know what Tampa’s going to be like, being down there at 4:30 in the afternoon,” he said. “So hopefully the weather will correct itself after a couple more cool days, then we’ll get some hot days and really get after the guys.”
Temperatures are expected to climb into the low 80s the next several days, with a high of 88 forecast for Tuesday.
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