5 key observations from Panthers first practice back in Charlotte

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

What were some key observations from the first practice back in Charlotte for the Carolina Panthers ahead of their final preseason game?

After a busy few weeks at Wofford College in Spartanburg, the Carolina Panthers returned to more familiar surroundings for their opening practice of the week ahead of Friday’s preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bank of America Stadium. A crucial few days for the organization as they look to rectify some ongoing problems that reared their head once again in their first two warmup games.

Matt Rhule is planning to get his starters more involved in preseason Week 3 after Sam Darnold and company saw the field for just one series against the Baltimore Ravens. This will be the strongest indicator yet as to what the Panthers have within their starting unit, who need to hit the ground running with some easier early games on the schedule.

The stakes are much higher this time around. Carolina’s new-look squad got a tremendous amount out of their camp experience this year, but the upcoming few days will be more in keeping with what they’ll go through week-to-week before each competitive clash.

With this in mind, here are five key observations from the first practice back in Charlotte for Carolina on Monday.

Observation No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Kenny Robinson /

Carolina Panthers had a few missing from practice

The Panthers were taking the cautious approach with a few players who were unavailable for Monday’s session. According to Joe Person of The Athletic, Trenton Cannon, Kenny Robinson, Haason Reddick, Tommy Tremble, Sam Franklin, Reggie Bonnafon, Rodney Smith, and Keith Kirkwood sat out, with a couple of them being longer-term absentees than originally suspected.

This obviously led to more opportunities for others. Something to monitor closely in the coming days before Carolina takes the field at Bank of America Stadium.

Although the majority of starters were good to go – including John Miller, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson – the last thing fringe or rotational players need at this stage is to miss time.