Techincally, Michael Oher remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
But the Panthers tackle is apparently working like a man who intends to play next season.
According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said Oher “has been working his fanny off.”
Oher suffered a concussion in Week Three and didn’t play again last season, with the team eventually putting him on IR. They then signed free agent left tackle Matt Kalil, which would return Oher to right tackle if he returns.
And apparently, they’re thinking that’s a when rather than an if.
“He’s doing NFL workouts. He’s fully engaged in that weight room sweating his butt off,” Gettleman said. “He looks great, he sounds great. . . .
“Like I told you, he’s doing NFL workouts right now. His workouts right now are not for the faint of heart. He’s down there grunting like everybody else.”
If he doesn’t return, the Panthers would have a pretty glaring hole at right tackle. Previous starter Mike Remmers went to Minnesota in free agency, and though they have former fourth-rounder Daryl Williams on the roster, it’s still thin if Oher is unable to play.