The Panthers could have their top two tight ends in an exhibition for the first time of this preseason.
All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen,who’s had nagging back spasms, participated fully in practice Wednesday, and No. 2 tight end Ed Dickson returned after a two-week layoff with a groin injury.
Olsen only did receiving drills on Tuesday, but he participated in that and team drills Wednesday.
“If he’s ready to go, yes, absolutely (he will play),” Rivera said. “We’re not going to throw a guy out there who, tomorrow morning he’s stiff and wobbling around, no we don’t want to put him out there.”
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Dickson missed the first two exhibitions with the groin injury, and he said it’s still too early to say if he’ll play against New England.
“Those soft tissue injuries, they sneak up and bite you,” Dickson said. “I felt really good and then I pulled my muscle. It’s tough not being out there with your guys, especially in times right now when you’re building chemistry and what to look at what your offense is going to look like for the year.”
Safety Dean Marlowe (hamstring) was expected to re-join the team at practice on Tuesday, but he worked on the side then and received treatment inside on Wednesday.
Receiver LaRon Byrd remains in the concussion protocol after an injury in the Titans’ game.