The NFC Champions saw a starting corner return to the practice field Wednesday.
Benwikere missed all offseason and the start of training camp after breaking his leg in Week 14.
The 6-foot corner spent the majority of his snaps in the slot in his first two seasons. With Josh Norman's defection to Washington, however, Benwikere is expected to move outside, opposite Robert McClain or a rookie in the Panthers' zone-heavy scheme, though coach Ron Rivera remained open to Benwikere starting the season in the slot when talking to reporters Wednesday.
At just 24 years old, Benwikere will be called on as a leader of a young secondary that includes three draft selections. Getting Benwikere back on the practice field ahead of the team's first preseason game is the first step in the Panthers deploying a cohesive cornerback unit in Week 1.
Here are the other injuries we are tracking Wednesday:
- Some more injury news in Carolina: Defensive end Kony Ealy is still in concussion protocol, so he did not participate in training camp on Wednesday.
- Two big names for the Bears suffered injuries at training camp Wednesday. Coach John Fox wouldn't elaborate which muscle Alshon Jeffery (muscle tightness) is struggling dealing with, and the team wanted to be careful having him play through it in the heat, so he came out early. Linebacker Danny Trevathan (knee) also was unable to finish practice.
The Bears also placed cornerback Brandon Boykin on injured reserve. The veteran defender said on Twitter that he had been playing with a torn pectoral muscle for "the past five days" and didn't know it. He signed with the team just last week after being cut by the Panthers in May. Boykin started just one game in Pittsburgh last season after several solid seasons as a slot corner in Philadelphia.
- Rookie wideout Josh Doctson has a walking boot on to rest his foot, and the Redskins are saying that the new accessory is not a setback in his recovery. "We're trying to work him hard one day" and then rest him the next, coach Jay Gruden said after practice. In addition, the Redskins announced nose tackle Jerrell Poweunderwent a heart arrhythmia procedure and will miss seven to 10 days.
- Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones delivered some negative news Wednesday on the team's most recent first-round pick. Running back Ezekiel Elliott will miss 'some time' due to a sore right hamstring. The Cowboys are planning to be conservative with the No. 4 overall pick, and don't have a definitive timetable for his return.