CHARLOTTE – With the end of the preseason rapidly approaching, the Panthers are beginning to flip the switch to regular season mode.
In case it’s not clear what that looks like, the reemergence of defensive end Julius Peppers should provide an indication.
The 17-year veteran, who has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery, fully participated in practice Monday for the first time since the conclusion of the 2017 season.
“He looked good out there. It was good to have him out there,” said head coach Ron Rivera, adding that Peppers took part in individual drills during Sunday’s closed practice. “We’re kind of easing him into things. He did a couple of the team drills. We’ll increase it as each day goes by.”
Defensive end Mario Addison, who shared the team sacks lead with Peppers last season with 11, was asked if anything stood out about Peppers in his return.
“Pep is Pep. Everything Pep does stands out,” Addison said.
The Panthers still have changes to make to their roster prior to Week 1, but Monday’s practice seemed to confirm what everyone already figured: Come kickoff, Peppers will be ready.