Observations from Thursday’s practice:
▪ Receiver Kelvin Benjamin did some light work, catching passes from receivers coach Ricky Proehl, but he did not work with first- or second-team offenses during the two-hour practice. Benjamin is nursing a hamstring strain and it’s unclear if he’ll participate more in next week’s OTAs.
▪ Cornerback Garry Peters (hamstring) and cornerback Bené Benwikere (hamstring) also sat out of practice.
▪ Defensive back Jocquel Skinner, whom the Panthers signed earlier this week after waiving tight end Kevin Greene, was ill Thursday and not on the practice field.
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▪ Offensive lineman Nate Chandler participated in some line drills but did not run with the first-, second- or third-team offenses during team drills. Chandler had knee and toe surgeries last year, and the Panthers aren’t rushing him back.
▪ Running back Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina’s fifth-round draft pick last month, will have to earn his way up the depth chart. The rookie from Auburn took reps behind Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker, Darrin Reaves and, sometimes, Jordan Todman on Thursday.
▪ Colin Jones continued to play at nickel cornerback with Benwikere sidelined. It’s a position Carolina may want to address with some depth since Benwikere has suffered multiple injuries since his rookie season.
▪ Cam Newton was intercepted twice Thursday, one week after having a nearly flawless practice in front of the media. Along with an interception by Charles Johnson on a late-developing screen pass to Mike Tolbert, Newton was picked off by Tre Boston when the safety dove for a tipped pass intended for Brenton Bersin.
▪ Aside from the tipped pass that became an interception, Bersin had a good day. He ran smooth routes and caught every catchable pass, including a nice sideline grab on a rollout by Newton.
▪ The first-team offense scored touchdowns on two possessions in the two-minute drill, but the second-team offense didn’t have as much success. The second-team defense outshined the offense during the two-minute period.
▪ Linebacker Adarius Glanton had a nice pick on Derek Anderson on a pass intended for Darrin Reaves that was underthrown.