It looks like the Carolina Panthers are getting their linebackers back together again.
With injuries to middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion) and rookie outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (knee), Carolina has had its starting linebacker corps intact for only two games this season.
But Sunday could be the third time.
Thompson was full participation at Wednesday’s practice after missing two games with a sprained MCL he sustained covering a kickoff at the end of a win at Seattle on Oct. 18.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he’s cautiously optimistic Thompson will play against Green Bay.
“It was good to see him out there moving around, loosening himself up. We’ll see,” Rivera said. “He had a good day, though. A lot of things will be dictated on how he feels (Thursday).”
The Panthers will face Packers quarterback and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers without one of their top pass-rushers. Defensive end Mario Addison, who has a separated shoulder, said he’s not playing against the Packers.
Carolina could be missing two offensive line starters, as well.
Center Ryan Kalil, who was sidelined against Indianapolis with an ankle injury, and left guard Andrew Norwell did not practice Wednesday.
Norwell left the Colts game in the first quarter after injuring his hamstring while blocking on a field goal. Rivera said Norwell’s status for Thursday’s practice also is shaky.
“He worked with trainers and everybody inside, which is usually never a good indication,” Rivera said.
Kalil did some light drills before practice, then put a protective boot back on his right foot.
Doctors sent cornerback Josh Norman home from the stadium with an illness that Norman told a national radio host was strep throat.
Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, who’s missed two games with a high ankle sprain, center Fernando Velasco (shoulder) and backup tight end Ed Dickson (hamstring) were limited.