The Carolina Panthers lost two starting offensive linemen in training camp, but they are starting to get more comfortable with the contingency plan.
Friday, veteran center Ryan Kalil will play in an exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins, though he, like the rest of the first-team offense, will be limited.
“Ryan will play this week,” coach Ron Rivera said. “We have a number (of snaps) for each guy (on the first team) and we want to see that number. I will say this, though, if we have a low number on the offense going in and if we get a chance for a two-minute drill, we’ll have to take it.”
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Backup center Tyler Larsen, who hyperextended his elbow and has not practiced this week, will not play Friday. Rivera added that it was mostly precautionary, as Larsen adds valuable depth at both center and at guard.
That means the current front-runner at left guard and third-string center, Greg Van Roten, will likely shift to center when Kalil comes out. Undrafted free agent left guard Brendan Mahon will then take Van Roten’s place.
Clemson rookie guard Taylor Hearn is still behind Mahon, but could see some time at right guard behind starter Trai Turner.
Other injuries and notes
▪ The Panthers waived defensive end Karter Schult and signed East Carolina rookie undrafted free agent defensive end Kiante Anderson.
▪ Cornerback LaDarius Gunter remains in the concussion protocol, though he practiced Wednesday. A late step in the protocol is participating in a practice.
▪ Tight end Jason Vander Laan was not on the field, and Rivera would not share whether it was illness or injury-related, only that Vander Laan was seeing a doctor.
▪ Cornerback Cole Luke, linebacker Andre Smith (hamstring), linebacker Ben Jacobs (groin) and receiver Fred Ross joined Larsen on the sideline with athletic trainers. Veteran defensive end Julius Peppers (offseason shoulder surgery) went through a workout with an athletic trainer, following his usual routine.
▪ Carolina will not play Peppers in the preseason, but he is expected to be fully in the mix by the season opener.