Inside the Panthers

Panthers injury update: Ron Rivera says he may have to make ‘tough decision’ on Ryan Kalil

Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil (67) sat out his second consecutive practice Thursday after spraining his right shoulder Sunday in a win against Arizona.
Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil (67) sat out his second consecutive practice Thursday after spraining his right shoulder Sunday in a win against Arizona. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil will make the trip to his Los Angeles hometown this weekend, but there’s no guarantee he’ll get to play.

Kalil sat out his second consecutive practice Thursday after spraining his right shoulder Sunday in a victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Friday will be a big day for Kalil, who grew up outside L.A. and played at Southern Cal.

While Rivera said Kalil is someone who could play without practicing all week, the team also will consider what’s best for Kalil in the long haul.

“We’ve got to make a smart decision because it’s not just about this one game, but going forward as well. He’s a big part of who we are,” Rivera said. “He’ll be mad at me if I have to make a tough decision, which I probably will.”

Kalil has not been available to the media this week.

In other injury news, Rivera said:

▪  Outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (sprained shoulder) is doubtful to play against the Rams. Fourth-year backup A.J. Klein will start in Thompson’s spot.

▪  Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly sat out with a sore groin, but is expected to practice Friday before the team heads west.

▪  Rookie cornerback Daryl Worley missed after being kneed in the back of his arm Wednesday. Worley said he’s OK and anticipates playing Sunday.

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