Inside the Panthers

Panthers center Ryan Kalil’s status for Saints game? Unclear

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) sat out Wednesday’s practice but said he’d be back for Thursday.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) sat out Wednesday’s practice but said he’d be back for Thursday. AP

Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil is still dealing with the neck injury that sidelined him for the Carolina Panthers’ Week 2 victory over Buffalo.

Kalil missed Wednesday’s practice and his status for Sunday’s game against the Saints is uncertain.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera offered few insights into Kalil’s condition, but did say he does not believe it’s connected to the shoulder injuries that required season-ending surgery in 2016.

“It’s just getting better,” Rivera said. “He woke up with it (Sunday) and that’s what happened. That’s the extent of my knowledge of it.”

Ryan Kalil
Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil (67) sat out Sunday’s game against Buffalo with a stiff neck, then didn’t practice on Wednesday. Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

The Panthers’ medical staff tried to loosen up Kalil’s neck during warmups before the Bills game, but decided to hold him out. Tyler Larsen started, and Kalil told Rivera he could be used in an emergency.

Kalil was one of three starters who sat out Wednesday because of injury.

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and cornerback Daryl Worley have knee issues, but both indicated they were not serious.

“Nothing too major,” Worley said. “I’ll be back practicing (Thursday) so everything will be OK.”

Benjamin banged his knee and ribs during a collision with Bills safety Jordan Poyer in the end zone.

Veteran defenders Thomas Davis and Julius Peppers both had the day off.

Quarterback Cam Newton (ankle, shoulder), defensive tackle Vernon Butler (shoulder) and linebacker Jeremy Cash (calf) were limited.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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