After 16 NFL seasons, the Carolina Panthers aren’t really worried about rushing defensive end Julius Peppers into his 17th one.
Peppers will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he continues to recover from offseason labrum surgery on his right shoulder. Peppers, 38, missed all of OTAs and minicamp during the spring.
But general manager Marty Hurney is not concerned about the health of the future Hall of Famer.
“Julius is fine. You want to be cautious,” Hurney said Wednesday. “Listen, you know what Pep’s going to bring. I don’t think you worry a whole lot about Julius Peppers.”
Peppers, No. 4 on the NFL’s all-time sacks list, is one of four Panthers players who will start on the PUP list. The others are TE Chris Manhertz (foot), WR Fred Ross (hip) and DE Bryan Cox Jr. (ankle), all of whom had offseason surgeries.
Second-year WR Curtis Samuel was placed on the nonfootball injury list after developing soreness in his surgically repaired ankle during summer workouts. Hurney said the team is taking a cautious approach with Samuel, adding: “We were very impressed with the way he came back and with what he showed during the OTAs and minicamp.”
In noninjury news, the team continues to gather information on the situation involving DT Vernon Butler, who is accused of pushing a woman and throwing a drink in her face at a Dallas nightclub earlier this month. Police are investigating the incident as a potential Class C assault, which is a misdemeanor in Texas.
Butler reported to camp on time Wednesday, but was not available to the media.
“Right now it’s being looked into, and hopefully once all the results and everything comes out, it’ll take care of itself,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Until then, there’s not much I can add to it.”