Carolina Panthers

Panthers: WR Kelvin Benjamin will play in exhibition opener, but ...

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) is being brought along slowly after tearing his ACL in training camp a year ago.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) is being brought along slowly after tearing his ACL in training camp a year ago. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Aside from a couple of leaping catches during the first few practices, it’s been a quiet camp for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin – and Ron Rivera would like to keep it that way.

The Carolina Panthers have been slow and deliberate in easing Benjamin back into action a year after he tore his ACL during a practice against the Miami Dolphins at Wofford College. Benjamin was in uniform, but sat out the team portion of Friday’s Fan Fest at Bank of America Stadium.

And while Benjamin will play Thursday in the first preseason game at Baltimore, Rivera said Benjamin’s repetitions would be limited. Rivera likes the fact that Benjamin’s first game action will be on a grass surface at M&T Bank Stadium, where the artificial turf was switched to grass this year.

“It’s about introducing him back into the game first and foremost, but in the right situation and circumstances,” Rivera said Sunday. “The biggest thing about this is a grass field, which is outstanding for us. So having him out on the field, you feel pretty comfortable and confident.”

Benjamin, who set Panthers’ rookie records in 2013, has had no obvious setbacks in his recovery. He’s much further along than wideout Stephen Hill, who tore three knee ligaments at training camp last year.

Hill was sidelined again Sunday and wore a wrap on his right knee.

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