5 key observations from Panthers joint practices with Patriots Day 1

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Brandon Smith
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Brandon Smith /
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What were some key observations from Day 1 of joint practices between the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots ahead of their game on Friday?

After picking up a last-gasp victory in their opening preseason contest at the Washington Commanders, there was no let-up for the Carolina Panthers as preparations gather pace for the 2022 season.

Matt Rhule’s men locked horns with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for the first of two joint practices before their warmup game on Friday evening. This will provide further insight into prominent depth chart positions and who should be brought through onto the roster.

Much has been made about Rhule’s insistence to tinker and complicate continuity. But things should become a little clearer over the next day or so going up against one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.

With that being said, here are some key observations from Day 1 of the Panthers‘ joint practices versus New England.

Key Observation No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman /

Carolina Panthers awaiting news on Bradley Bozeman’s injury

One concerning issue that occurred midway through practice was Bradley Bozeman going down with an apparent lower leg injury. The free-agent signing was working with the second-team unit when he went down and although the lineman got up on his own accord, he was tended to by medical personnel in attendance and didn’t participate further.

The Carolina Panthers have Pat Elflein, who’s been working with the first-team group throughout camp. But based on their previous form, Bozeman would have been prime for the job in Week 1.

Hopefully, the injury isn’t too serious. If Bozeman is forced to miss time, it’ll be a considerable blow to the protection.