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Three Panthers activated from reserve/COVID-19 list Friday

The Carolina Panthers are getting some of their COVID-19-affected players back before the weekend.

Linebacker Shaq Thompson, wide receiver Curtis Samuel and rookie defensive tackle Derrick Brown have all been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, per Bill Voth of the team's media department.

The trio were part of a group of eight players added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday as a result of three positive tests and five close contacts. Samuel was one of the close contacts linked to teammate D.J. Moore, who remains on the list, along with defensive tackle Zach Kerr.

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said Wednesday the league linked the Panthers' COVID-19 spread to "some gathering of players outside the team facility."

On the non-COVID-19 front, running back Christian McCaffrey was not in attendance for the start of practice Friday. Panthers coach Matt Rhule told reporters Thursday he doesn't expect McCaffrey to play in Sunday's game against the Broncos. The RB is officially doubtful to play vs. Denver.

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