Sometimes the training camp exuberance of an NFL rookie can go too far.
That happened at Wofford College on Monday, and involved rookie defensive back Rashaan Gaulden, who laid out veteran wide receiver Jarius Wright in the back of the end zone.
That was not a smart play, and wide receiver Devin Funchess chewed out Gaulden about the contact. Several of Gaulden’s defensive teammates reminded him to make better decisions on contact.
So did head coach Ron Rivera.
With Wright on the sideline, defensive coordinator Eric Washington had a talk with Gaulden, too, along with Mike Adams.
Luckily for the Panthers, and Gaulden, Wright was back on the field for the next drill.
The news was not as good later for veteran cornerback Ross Cockrell.
He got tangled up with Torrey Smith on a touchdown catch, and his screams had teammates reacting in horror.
Cockrell was yelling, “My leg is broke,” and trainers quickly attended to him as the cart came out.
Players surrounded Cockrell, mostly on a knee. After Cockrell was carted out, Ron Rivera called off the rest of practice.
Other things seen and heard at the Monday practice, the fifth of training camp:
▪ David Tepper was back in Spartanburg on Monday. He spent some time watching receivers with general manager Marty Hurney, then had seemed to be having a grand old time on the sideline, laughing and joke-shoving with Rivera.
▪ Some welcome cloud cover today in Spartanburg — really the first practice that has not been blazing hot.
▪ There is no doubt that Luke Kuechly’s jersey is the one worn most often in Spartanburg by fans.
▪ Stretch music update: After Devin Funchess got the Panthers music “deejays” to change it up to Migos, Cam Newton was inspired to do a spinning dance that included grabbing a Gatorade bottle full of water and squirting it around wildly. When Drake’s “In My Feelings” started playing; Mike Adams did the shiggy challenge for a moment as Thomas Davis waved a towel around.
▪ Participation notes: Curtis Samuel and Bryan Cox had cleats and helmets but no pads. Veteran rest days for Mike Adams, Thomas Davis, Greg Olsen and Ryan Kalil. Kyle Love was back after a vet day.
▪ Several service members were at practice. Damiere Byrd went over to shake everyone’s hand and thank them.
▪ With Olsen getting a vet day, tight ends Ian Thomas and Taylor Vander Laan both spent time with the first team.
▪ Adams’ vet made Da’Norris Searcy and Gaulden the starting safeties.
▪ Quarterback Kyle Allen, pulled out of the pass rush drill on Sunday and replaced by an equipment manager by Panthers assistant John Matsko for not getting the cadence correct, finished the drill on Monday. Matsko gave him a hearty congratulations.
▪ During one-on-ones, Tyler Larsen held up really well against Dontari Poe rush. But defensive end Mario Addison got by left tackle Matt Kalil.
▪ Kawann Short roasted Amini Silatolu, and his momentum carried him into accidental contact on Allen. Silatolu bounced back by stoning Ken Norton.
▪ On the right side, Taylor Moton started at tackle and Trai Turner at guard, then Brendon Mahon came in at right guard with the ones to spell him.
▪ When the Panthers break the defensive huddle, Short yells “1-2-3 JUICE!” The other guys echo, then Short gets to the line and bellows “JUUUUUUUUUUUICE.”
▪ Alex Armah just had a fantastic pass block rep against linebacker Ben Jacobs. A coach yelled, “That’s right, Alex!!! That’s a way to take charge!!”
▪ Luke Kuechly made a great break on a Newton pass intended for Ian Thomas, and should have had the interception but didn’t hang on.
▪ A fantastic catch in the corner of the end zone by rookie right end Cam Serigne was ruled out of bounds ... by Mike Adams.
▪ Offensive coordinator Norv Turner gave Evan Baylis an earful for not getting downfield fast enough.
▪ Newton had a nice play-action pass to Moore.
▪ A potential touchdown pass from Garrett Gilbert went through the hands of former Montana receiver Jamaal Jones.
Team session highlights
▪ The Panthers started in nickel with Captain Munnerlyn. Kevon Seymour was starting at CB opposite James Bradberry.
▪ Bug Howard scored in a goal line drill and punctuated the TD with a dunk over the goalpost that left the uprights shaking.
▪ Really nice patience from Garrett Gilbert on a connection with Austin Duke across the back of the end zone. Duke tippy-tapped both feet inbounds.
▪ Ian Thomas scored in the corner of the end zone after Alex Armah did a nice job jamming up the linebackers so Thomas could get open.
▪ Seymour broke up a corner end zone ball intended for Funchess.
▪ Colin Jones broke up a Cam Newton pass intended for D.J. Moore in the back of the end zone in red zone drills.
▪ Gilbert completed a deep ball to a wide-open Mose Frazier for a touchdown.
▪ After a really nice throw from Newton, Thomas made the catch and picked up extra yardage after Searcy quite literally bounced off him.