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Ron Rivera: Kelvin Benjamin injury weight related?

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Kelvin Benjamin regularly beat some of the best cornerbacks in the league as a rookie. He also made a lot of mental errors and had plenty of drops.

As Benjamin enters his second season, the Panthers still seem to recognize that he has to mature. Benjamin has struggled with various hamstring injuries this offseason. Just when he returned from one injury, he sustained another.

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"It could be as simple as weight," coach Ron Rivera said Thursday. "He did come in a little heavy and he had to work himself into shape. Or diet or something. We're going to take a look at it and make sure it's not a chronic issue with him. He's too good a football player to have on the sideline."

Benjamin struggled with his weight at Florida State and a source told Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer that Benjamin came in 8-9 pounds overweight. Rivera stressed that Benjamin has been working hard to get back on the field, but he did miss his third straight day of minicamp on Thursday.

While Rivera brought the issue into the public, general manager Dave Gettleman spent Thursday trying to repair any damage.

"It really is much ado about nothing. Right now he's only five pounds off his playing weight. That's it," Gettleman told the Charlotte Observer. "This is what frustrates me sometimes, people want to create news. There's no news. He's a few pounds over, that's all. He'll be fine. He'll stay here in July and he'll be ready to rock and roll."

The Panthers have a promising receiver group led by Benjamin and rookie Devin Funchess. But it's a group with plenty of questions, and they need Benjamin to step up as a true No. 1 receiver rather than take a step back as a sophomore.

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