Panthers could go guard-by-committee

AP

The Panthers cut their projected starting right guard a week into training camp, and their projected starter at left guard’s hurt.

So going into Sunday’s opener against the Seahawks, the Panthers are looking at a guard-by committee situation.

According to David Newton of ESPN.com, Amini Silatolu was not practicing Friday and remains a long shot to play Sunday because of a hamstring strain, leaving journeyman Chris Scott working with the starters at left guard.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said veteran Travelle Wharton would likely rotate in with Scott on what is the stable side of the Panthers line, between veteran tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil. They’ve downplayed the issue with the right side, but tackle Byron Bell and replacement guard Garry Williams weren’t good through the preseason.

That’s not necessarily good news for a team that needs to find some run-pass balance, as well as some left-right equity. Wharton probably needs some time to get caught up from a conditioning standpoint after signing following training camp, and the sooner he’s up to speed, the better for Cam Newton and the rest of the offense.