Carolina Panthers

Lengthy Panthers injury list raises concerns, especially along the offensive line

There’s such a thing as a long injury list, and then there’s what the Carolina Panthers released on Wednesday.

A whopping 14 players were named on the team’s first official injury report of the week. Some were expected, like quarterback Cam Newton and the Lisfranc injury in his left foot, but many others were new to the list.

Including, two of the team’s starting offensive linemen.

Right guard Trai Turner, who missed Sunday’s game against Houston with an ankle injury, did not participate in practice Wednesday. Neither did left tackle Greg Little, who played every one of the team’s offensive snaps against Houston in his first career start.

Little is in the concussion protocol, coach Ron Rivera confirmed, although he declined to elaborate whether this is Little’s second concussion or simply the after-effects of his first one, sustained against New England in Week 3 of the preseason.

“All I can tell you is he’s in the protocol,” Rivera said. “I don’t know.”

Little, the team’s second-round pick out of Ole Miss, missed Carolina’s first two games this season when he initially went through the protocol.

Outside of Little, Turner and Newton, a number of other Panthers did not practice Wednesday: outside linebacker/defensive end Brian Burns (wrist), receiver Chris Hogan (knee), tight end Chris Manhertz (concussion protocol) and safety Eric Reid (ankle). Cornerback Donte Jackson (groin) also sat out, although he worked on the side with trainers during the media portion of practice. Jackson missed the Panthers’ win over Houston on Sunday.

Later Wednesday, Hogan was placed on injured reserve and the Panthers claimed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch from New England. Hogan, who’s in his first season with Carolina, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is a candidate to return after missing the required minimum of eight games that comes with being put on IR.

Running back Christian McCaffrey and receiver Curtis Samuel had vet days for rest.

Linebacker Bruce Irvin was listed as limited (hamstring). He played Sunday for the first time this season and registered a sack.

Outside linebacker/defensive end Marquis Haynes (elbow) was a full participant in practice, as was defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (knee) and linebacker Shaq Thompson (hand).

Brendan Marks is a general assignment sports reporter for the Charlotte Observer covering the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, NASCAR and more. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked for the Observer since August 2017.
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