Ryan Kalil missed his fifth straight practice and is well on his way missing his third consecutive game after waking up on gameday of week two with a sore neck. The training staff worked with Kalil before the game to loosen the neck up, but the decided it would be best for him to sit it out. Rivera afterward assured that he didn’t believe this to be related to Kalil’s offseason shoulder surgery.
Kalil played week one and the Panthers kept Newton clean. Since he has been absent, his brother Matt has allowed the most sacks in the league. A lot of attention was focused on Greg Olsen going out with a broken foot, but those watching Carolina closely have argued that Ryan Kalil’s absence has been even more detrimental.
Bill Voth on Panthers.com addressed Kalil’s absence earlier this week, writing
"You’re among many wondering what else is keeping Kalil out. It can’t really be something as simple as a "crick in his neck,” right?
But think about the position Kalil plays. Now think about playing that position with a sore neck. Now think about the toll Kalil's body has taken over the past decade. Oh, and he’s also less than a year removed from shoulder surgery.
I really don’t think they’re going out of their way to hide something. It’s likely just Father Time ticking louder."
Voth has no reason to speculate too much on the nature of Kalil’s injury, but he also has some reason to minimize the severity of this “kink.”
Kalil isn’t practicing after missing two games and Carolina’s offensive line looking like Swiss cheese in those games. What the heck is going on here?
Ron Rivera was asked today about Kalil’s progress and he seemed optimistic, but he did mention that he is coming off a shoulder surgery, which now seems to be a little more related that it was 10 days ago. He did say that he is getting better and better each day and assured he will be fine.
So Carolina is playing it smart listening to trainers and boy you got to hope to give Kalil some muscle relaxers.
Panthers second-year corner Daryl Worley is suffering from a strained pectoral muscle and there is a good chance he won’t play this Sunday against the Patriots. Worley had some issues with a knee last week and now he’s got an injury that looks to sideline him for at least a game. This puts pressure on an already thin secondary, leaving Kevon Seymour, recently acquired from the Bills to move outside.
Rivera comforted today in his presser that Seymour coming from Buffalo, a similar system led by Panthers former defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, has acclimated to the Panthers easier than teams that are coming from more dissimilar situations.
Kelvin Benjamin was back moving around at practice after going down awkwardly early against the Saints. There wasn’t any major damage, fortunately, Rivera reported and should be ready to go against the Patriots.
Daeshon Hall woke up with swelling in a knee. It seems that these guys are just waking up hurt….which reminds us that this is a brutal game where the guy's bodies just take a beating each week and each week really becomes about recovery as much as it does about practice.
Nothing shows us this more than Cam Newton who with this “New Normal” of being limited in practice trying to help nurture that shoulder along. Cam reported today that he felt much better this week than he did last week, but he’s still dealing with that soreness. A story came out this week by Mike Freeman with Bleacher Report stating that some team officials have mentioned that Cam is breaking down physically. It seemed that this was a rather general source and my sense this came from someone outside the organization that was involved with another organization.
Thomas Davis was out there today going through the walkthrough and installations. Rivera was asked if Davis cracked a rib yesterday. He didn’t deny it, only stating that he has a rib injury. He’s questionable for Sunday and Rivera said that Davis always expects to play, but they would have to see it how it goes over the next day or so. I would expect to see more Shaq Thompson this week, and that may not be a terribly bad thing having to go against Gronkowski.
Panthers were riddled with injury and boy it’s been a tough start to the season losing Olsen, missing Ryan Kalil, and having that big scare with Benjamin. Carolina will have to muscle through all of this and Cam Newton is the one that shoulders that responsibility most.