After a Wednesday practice in which 11 players either didn’t participate or were limited, the Carolina Panthers got most of them back to a full workout on a chilly Thursday at Bank of America Stadium.
But two of the three players who did not practice sent up mild alarm bells ahead of Sunday’s wild-card game in New Orleans, because of their importance.
Left tackle Matt Kalil missed a second consecutive day with an illness, and receiver Devin Funchess also missed a second consecutive practice with a shoulder injury. Defensive end Julius Peppers was the third Panther to not practice Thursday, but it was a scheduled rest day.
If Kalil can’t play Sunday, it’s likely that right tackle Daryl Williams will slide over to the left side, as he did in 2016 when Michael Oher entered the concussion protocol. Rookie Taylor Moton would likely start at right tackle.
Funchess didn’t seem concerned about his shoulder on Thursday, telling the Observer that the non-participation in practice was “precautionary.”
Guard Trai Turner remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but practiced fully for a second consecutive day, which is a positive step. Turner must be evaluated and cleared by an independent neurologist before he can suit up for a game.