As if Panthers needed more bad news, Funchess has hamstring issue


The Panthers didn’t need any more bad news after star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had to be carted off with a knee injury.

And yet, they got some.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said rookie wideout Devin Funchess “tweaked” his hamstring during today’s work with the Dolphins, and wouldn’t likely be available for tomorrow’s joint practice.

Probably not,” Rivera said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “We’ll wait until [head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion] gets a chance to look at him, but I don’t think so.”

There have been no indications that there’s anything but bad news to be expected from Benjamin’s MRI, so having Funchess ready to go is paramount for the Panthers. But if he’s missing any time, it’s a significant blow for a team that thought it created sufficient competition at the position this offseason.

The Panthers already lost Stephen Hill to an ACL tear, cutting into their depth early in camp.

Rivera said he’s been encouraged by the second-rounder from Michigan, who came in to give Cam Newton another big target.

“He’s done a nice job. He really has,” Rivera said. “He and Kelvin are different type players. Kelvin is a big, stout, physical guy where Funchess uses his size to position himself, and he’ll have to step it up and learn that style and technique of play.”

The Panthers also have Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery, Corey Brown and Brenton Bersin, so getting Funchess back and well is important if they want to build on a pair of consecutive NFC South titles.