Tyler Larsen has become the utility knife along the Carolina Panthers’ offensive line.
And while he’s spent most of his time with the Panthers filling in at center, Larsen has been working at right guard this week in place of the injured Trai Turner.
With Turner in the concussion protocol, Larsen and veteran guard Amini Silatolu have been getting practice repetitions alongside right tackle Daryl Williams as the Panthers prepare for Sunday’s NFC clash with the Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., FOX).
Turner, a two-time Pro Bowler, has yet to practice after showing up at the stadium Monday with postconcussion symptoms. But Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he likes the “position flexibility” that Larsen and Silatolu provide.
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“We feel good about these guys,” Rivera said. “If they have to step in for Trai, then we feel very comfortable and confident in these guys.”
Turner was one of three players who sat out Thursday’s practice, along with linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot) and defensive end Mario Addison (flu-like symptoms).
Silatolu, the Panthers’ second-round pick in 2012, started 28 games at left guard from 2012-2015 before leaving for Chicago. Silatolu was out of the league after the Bears cut him last summer, then re-signed with the Panthers in February.
Larsen was a center at Utah State, but played guard during preseason stints with Miami, Washington and Carolina. He filled in at center last year after Ryan Kalil and Gino Gradkowski sustained season-ending injuries.
Larsen, who started 10 of the first 13 games at center this year while Kalil dealt with a neck issue, said he’s readjusting to a position that does not require him to snap the ball.
“It’s a little bit different definitely to have both hands working at the same time,” Larsen said. “It kind of gives you a little bit of an advantage.”
Williams says he’s been getting his timing and steps down with both Silatolu and Larsen.
“It’s coming along nicely. Amini’s always played guard and Tyler got some guard work in before,” Williams said. “So it’s like it’s nothing new to them. So it’s good.”