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Panthers DE Julius Peppers unfazed by slow start

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Terrorizing quarterbacks and racking up big-time sack numbers have been the norm for Julius Peppers during his decorated career.

So far this season, the numbers most often associated with the Carolina Panthers' defensive end are in regard to age and his diminished snaps.

Following two games with Carolina, Peppers -- who at 38 years young is the oldest defensive player in the NFL -- has only 45 snaps (roughly 35 percent of Carolina's defensive plays), two tackles and no sacks.

"We'll get there. I'm not worried about that at all," Peppers said via Panthers.com's Bryan Strickland. "Right now I'm worried about helping us get a win this week against Cincinnati. The accolades, all that personal stuff, that will take care of itself."

Peppers is coming back from a shoulder injury and did not play any preseason games.

Still, questions will loom about his age, but Peppers counters with the argument of experience.

"To get back on track with sacks? It's something I know how to do, and I'm not that concerned about it," he said. "They always say that the first one is the hardest one to get and that they come in bunches. We'll get there."

It's unlikely to be an easy task against the Bengals, who have allowed two sacks so far.

But numbers are most often in Peppers' favor, even though they aren't thus far this season.

He's coming off an 11-sack season that carried his career total to 154.5, which is fourth all-time and within 5.5 of catching Kevin Greene for third.

And though he's been limited on the field, he made a lofty contribution off of it when he donated $100,00 to the Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

Not to mention, he's got to keep on carrying the torch as the league's eldest defensive player.

"I guess it is a badge of honor," he said. "I'm fortunate to be standing here still after 17 years, almost injury free. I'm blessed."

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