Panthers CB Benwikere returns to practice; looks to start

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) Bene Benwikere, who the Carolina Panthers hope will replace starting All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman, practiced for the first time since a season-ending leg injury in 2015.

Benwikere was removed from the team's PUP list on Wednesday before practice. He participated in individual drills and team periods. Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he told Benwikere he was a looking ''a little rusty.''

The 24-year-old Benwikere worked as Carolina's starting nickel back last season before breaking his leg. But with Charles Tillman retiring and Norman signing with the Washington Redskins as a free agent, the Panthers hope Benwikere will be ready to start.

Rivera says the Panthers will work Benwikere at right and left cornerback, as well as the slot.

Wide receiver Tobais Palmer also was taken off the PUP list Wednesday.


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