Panthers excited by purr-fect attendance at first minicamp

There’s usually not much to take away from an NFL team’s offseason training activities, but the Carolina Panthers were certainly pleased that all 90 of their players were here for the first week of workouts, which wrapped up Thursday.

“This is voluntary, so I appreciate the fact that we’ve had every player here,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “This has been a very good three days for us. The guys have come out and worked hard, doing exactly what we’ve asked.”

While everyone was present, not all players were able to participate fully, and the status of guys on that list is actually more newsworthy than most of what happened in drills.

Linebacker Jon Beason, who is coming off three surgeries in the past 17 months, did more work than some expected. The three-time Pro Bowler took part in individual workouts and ran 20 50-yard wind sprints after practice. Beason claimed he will be ready for the start of training camp, and he certainly looks on track.

Offensive tackles Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil, who are also rehabbing from surgeries, worked in the conditioning and installation periods but sat out offense vs. defense drills.

Jonathan Stewart, meanwhile, was “very limited.” The oft-injured running back had offseason ankle surgery and spent most of Thursday’s workout on the bike.

Defensive back Captain Munnerlyn had a similar schedule as Stewart. Munnerlyn is battling an abdominal strain, or as Rivera called it, “a tummy strain.”

The Panthers have two more weeks of OTAs left before their mandatory minicamp. And while this may not be the most exciting part of the year, it is the start of building the foundation of what’s to come.

“You start from scratch every year with installs, and you have to teach new guys and get them up to speed. But the future looks pretty good,” tight end Greg Olsen said.

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