Inside the Panthers

Panthers first-round pick Vernon Butler leaves practice with cramps

Carolina Panthers rookie defensive tackle Vernon Butler is driven from the field after experiencing cramping during practice on Friday at Wofford College in Spartanburg.
Carolina Panthers rookie defensive tackle Vernon Butler is driven from the field after experiencing cramping during practice on Friday at Wofford College in Spartanburg. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers got a scare Friday when first-round pick Vernon Butler went to the ground holding his right leg near the end of the two-hour practice. It turned out to be cramps for Butler, who was carted to the training room to receive IV treatments.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he expects Butler to be OK for Saturday’s practice, the team’s first in full pads.

Butler, a defensive tackle from Louisiana Tech, joined a deep interior rotation that includes Pro Bowler Kawann Short, former first-rounder Star Lotulelei and veterans Paul Soliai and Kyle Love.

Lotulelei was more involved in practice Friday after sitting out team drills Thursday with hamstring tightness.

Rookie offensive tackle Jordan Rigsbee also was taken in early Friday with what appeared to be leg cramps.

Carolina Panthers fans were anxious for the team to take the field for their first practice of training camp Thursday evening at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College. Afterwards, the screaming began for the Panthers two most popular play

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