Carolina Panthers

Injured Carolina Panthers Kelvin Benjamin, Bené Benwikere could return Tuesday

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) has worked on the side but could return to the field Tuesday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) has worked on the side but could return to the field Tuesday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

After missing the past two weeks of organized team activities with strained hamstrings, Carolina Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin and cornerback Bené Benwikere could practice Tuesday.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said after Monday’s practice that if the players don’t experience a setback Tuesday morning from Monday’s work, they should be on the field in helmets for the first time during this phase of Organized Team Activities.

“It feels good,” Benwikere said of his hamstring. “I was able to come out here and run and hit my stride. I felt really good today.”

Both second-year players have gotten work in on the side but nothing in helmets during OTAs. Benjamin has done light receiver drills, catching passes from receivers coach Ricky Proehl, and worked on the JUGS machine.

With the injuries, rookie receiver Devin Funchess and defensive back Colin Jones to take their share of first-team reps. Funchess has been an NFL player for just more than a month, and Jones is learning the nickel corner role after playing most of his career at safety.

“If it’s done anything it’s helped the younger guys who are working at their positions,” Rivera said. “It’s kind of neat to see Devin Funchess get the opportunities he’s gotten. It’s good to see Colin Jones get the snaps he’s getting.”

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