Inside the Panthers

Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin is early leader for catch of camp

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) hooked up for the best catch of training camp so far on Friday.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) hooked up for the best catch of training camp so far on Friday. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin delivered what is, so far, the catch of training camp on Friday.

The third-year receiver is returning from an ACL tear, so there are still some cringes when he goes up and comes down with passes. But Friday afternoon everyone but Kurt Coleman could breathe a sigh of relief.

Quarterback Cam Newton looked deep for Benjamin on a play from the 25-yard line. The ball went at least 45 yards in the air, and the 6-foot-5 Benjamin attacked the ball at its highest point.

Coleman was in good position on Benjamin but was giving up 6 inches in height. Benjamin went up, caught the pass and came tumbling down.

Offensive players congratulated Benjamin while Coleman collected himself off the ground.

“I was very anxious. I really was,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “That’s what we’re used to. That’s what he did two seasons ago. We know he’s capable of it.

“For him to do what he does, to go out there and make a play like that, that’s part of his routine. That’s who he is. That helps Cam and gives him the type of confidence he needs to throw the ball and cut it loose sometimes.”

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman met with the media Wednesday afternoon. Among the topics addressed, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin's return to action.

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