The No. 6 overall selection lined up with the first team and stayed there for the joint practice, Joe Person of TheAthletic.com reports. The Panthers would love to see him remain there for many, many years.
“We wanted Ickey to play and put it on tape in a game before we put him with the ones,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said after the first of two joint practices with the Patriots. “We wanted him to go in a game and play and earn (it) with his play. So he played well in the game.”
The Panthers’ search for a cornerstone left tackle began after Jordan Gross played his final snap in 2013, which ended with his third and final Pro Bowl berth.
Ekwonu didn’t start in last week’s preseason game against the Commanders, but he played 16 offensive snaps and two on special teams in getting his feet wet. His time is now, which leaves Christensen with a chance to compete with incumbent left guard Michael Jordan.
“These are valuable reps for him,” Rhule said. “There were some plays that were good probably. There were some plays that I know weren’t very good. He’s going against Judon. They’ve got good players over there. It’s good reps for him.”