Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin missed his second consecutive practice Thursday, leaving his status for Sunday’s game at Chicago in question.
Benjamin has been bothered by soreness in his left knee since taking a hit during the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Philadelphia. A close-up during the broadcast showed Benjamin with a golf ball-sized contusion on the side of his knee.
It’s the same knee that sidelined Benjamin for the 2015 season after he tore his ACL during training camp.
Benjamin walked off the practice field Wednesday and was not around Thursday.
“It swelled up from a shot he got the other day, so he went and saw the doctor. That’s why he wasn’t at practice,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “So we’re a little bit concerned and we’ll see.”
Panthers receiver Devin Funchess said he didn’t realize anything was wrong with Benjamin on Wednesday until coaches he needed to play the position usually manned by Benjamin.
Benjamin is the team’s third-leading receiver, with 26 catches for 371 yards and a touchdown through six games.
If Benjamin can’t play, it would mean more opportunities for receivers Russell Shepard and Curtis Samuel, the second-round pick from Ohio State.