Hamstring tweak sidelines Shaq Thompson at rookie minicamp

AP

The Panthers got their first on-field look at linebacker Shaq Thompson since drafting him in the first round at their rookie minicamp over the weekend, but it wasn’t quite as extended a look as they hoped to get.

Thompson tweaked his hamstring during Friday’s workout, which forced him to the sideline as a spectator as the team wrapped up their work on Saturday. While there’s no sign that the injury is a significant one, it did cost Thompson his only chance to work with the team for the next month.

The University of Washington doesn’t conclude its school year until June, leaving Thompson unable to practice with the Panthers during their organized team activities in the coming weeks.

“That was the biggest thing was he was losing quality reps,” coach Ron Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “So yeah I am concerned about that.”

Rivera said that the team was still trying to figure out how Thompson’s versatility “fits into the scheme,” which was going to be one of the bigger questions for the team to answer at training camp even without the hamstring tweak because of their limited ability to work with Thompson this spring.

2 responses to “Hamstring tweak sidelines Shaq Thompson at rookie minicamp

  1. This is significant because Shaq needs all the on-field work he can get to get acclimated to the system. First round picks are supposed to be impact players, by starting and contributing heavily.

    This would hurt a one-position player. an injury to Shaq hurts more, because he had no position in college, playing the Swiss Army Knife role.

    Stepping up to the pros, means his learning curve will be a very steep one. Add that to the fact that he will be in class during OTAs and the learning curve is compounded.

  2. The NFL needs to get rid of the stupid rule that draft picks can’t come to OTAs while school is in session. They’re no longer eligible to play with the school; they’re already pros (especially players like Shaq, who have already signed their contracts and have a team check in their bank accounts). And don’t give me the tired, old “they’re student-athletes, make them stay in school the whole term” nonsense. If the NFL really wanted then to stay in school, they wouldn’t let them be draft-eligible until they graduate. Once they’ve been drafted, they should be immediately eligible for ALL team activities, regardless of their college’s academic calendar.

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