Carolina Panthers

Hamstring may keep Panthers WR Devin Funchess out again

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess worked with the team on Monday before being checked by trainers for a “tight” hamstring.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess worked with the team on Monday before being checked by trainers for a “tight” hamstring. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

After sitting out two of the three exhibitions this preseason, Carolina Panthers rookie receiver Devin Funchess is in danger of missing another.

The second-round pick and Carolina’s prospective No. 1 receiver this season felt tightness in his previously tweaked right hamstring toward the end of Monday’s practice.

“Yeah we were doing a lot of reps,” Funchess said walking off the practice field. “It might have just been tight. I’m about to get treatment and check it out.”

In the closing minutes of team drills, Funchess walked to the sideline and took a knee while speaking with head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion. He stood up and repeatedly tried to stretch his right leg while not taking any more snaps in practice.

It’s the same hamstring that’s bothered Funchess since the end of training camp. He played in the first exhibition in Buffalo and had two catches for 53 yards but sat out at home against Miami and again versus the Patriots, though Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was close to playing against New England.

Asked if the injury would prohibit him from playing Thursday against the Steelers in Carolina’s final exhibition, Funchess simply said if he practices this week, then he’ll play.

That, of course, wasn’t the case last week when he practiced two days before the New England exhibition and then wasn’t in uniform.

Funchess has mainly been working with the second-team offense as he’s recovered from injury. He said Thursday it’ll be up to the coaches whether he’s eventually named a starter.

“At the end of the day, I can’t have that decision,” Funchess said. “I just go out there and do my job and hope for the best.”

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