Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin took a step forward in his recovery from a concussion Thursday, but the rookie’s status remains uncertain for Sunday’s game at Green Bay.
Benjamin attended Thursday’s practice and worked on the side with strength coaches, but did not participate in any drills. Panthers coach Ron Rivera earlier this week called it a “mild concussion,” but didn’t want to be drawn into any debates Thursday about the severity of Benjamin’s head injury.
“He did very well with the independent (doctor on Wednesday), and then (Thursday) he did the next step with our guys and seemed to be doing very well,” Rivera said.
As to Benjamin’s availability against the Packers, Rivera said: “It all depends on how he does. We just follow the protocol.”
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Rivera conceded the loss of Benjamin, who leads rookie wide receivers with 416 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns, would be “considerable.” Former Wofford wideout Brenton Bersin would take Benjamin’s spot in the rotation, alongside veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant.
“Kelvin does stand out because of the plays he’s made,” Rivera said. “But we have a group of guys that have been very good and very proficient for us inside of our offense.”
Philly Brown likely would have an expanded role if Benjamin doesn’t play, while No. 3 quarterback Joe Webb would be activated as the fifth wideout, Rivera said. Webb played receiver last season in Minnesota.
“Just knocking some dust off and doing what’s best for the team. If that’s me going to receiver for a little bit, that’s for the team,” Webb said. “I just go with the flow. Whatever coaches say they need me to do I’m all for it.”