Thanks to injuries, the Panthers had something of a revolving door at guard last season.
They saw several of their top candidates for starting jobs go down for the season, leading them to bring back veterans Travelle Wharton and Geoff Hangartner to help settle the situation. The scrambling worked out well enough for the Panthers to win the NFC South, but they’d surely like a more placid situation this season while they try to get tackles Byron Bell and Nate Chandler playing at a high level.
It’s a good thing that they’ve liked what they’ve seen from this year’s group, then. Amini Silatolu, one of the injured players from last season, and third-round pick Trai Turner have General Manager Dave Gettleman liking “what’s going on” and center Ryan Kalil says he’s been impressed with the men who are set to line up on either side of him.
“They look good, as good as they can look in pajamas,” Kalil said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I’m anxious and excited to see how they do when we get full pads on.”
Silatolu said he’s close to 100 percent after last year’s knee injury and the team is expecting Garry Williams, Edmund Kugbila and Chris Scott back at full health as well. Assuming the injury bug doesn’t strike again, that should give them a higher comfort level than they had last year even with things looking a bit less bright at tackle.