Panthers: Curtis Samuel and Bryan Cox return

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /

Finally, the Carolina Panthers receive some good news on the injury front…

Expectations for the Carolina Panthers remain high after an offseason filled with changes. From the very top in regards to ownership, down to personnel on the field and sidelines, no one really knows exactly what to expect from this year’s version of the Panthers.

Despite already suffering significant losses on both sides of the football with injuries to offensive tackle Daryl Williams and cornerback Russ Cockrell, Carolina finally received some positive news on the injury front as training camp continues.

Wide receiver Curtis Samuel and defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. both have yet to practice with the latter beginning camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list but each has passed their physicals and is cleared to participate. While neither fills either of the positions which were recently weakened, both are expected to have an impact this season.

Samuel joins an extremely young but talented wide receiver group that should have enough firepower to help quarterback Cam Newton and the offense move the football. A dynamic player with great speed and a unique skill set, Samuel was just coming into his own before injuries derailed his rookie season one year ago.

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Defensively, Cox figures to work into the mix up front with guys rotating in and out to keep consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Originally an undrafted free agent, signing with the Panthers following last year’s NFL Draft, Cox earned more significant playing time as the season transpired.

Appearing in the final five games of the regular season and recording two tackles in a playoff loss to the Saints, Cox may be poised for a breakout sophomore season. After enduring ankle surgery during the offseason, a cautious approach to begin the year is not necessarily a bad thing.

According to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer, both Samuel and Cox were in pads for practice today at Wofford College.

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The Panthers first preseason game is next Thursday, August 9 at Buffalo with kickoff scheduled for 7:00pm.