NFL: Another defensive tackle goes down
By Mike Cranston
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó When Ian Scottís left knee bent awkwardly at the end of a play during the Carolina Panthersí morning practice Wednesday, three other defensive tackles were already sidelined with injuries.
It left the Panthers very thin at a position that was full of uncertainty heading into the preseason after three-time Pro Bowl pick Kris Jenkins was traded to the New York Jets.
iI think thatís a question mark and thatís why weíre here at camp and thatís why weíll play preseason games, to evaluate that,î coach John Fox said. iBut we just have a couple of guys nicked. Theyíll be back. Ian Scottís (injury) appeared to be the most serious to date. Weíll get healthier there, and theyíve got to be out there to get better. Weíre working on that as we speak.î
The team provided no update on Scott, who missed all of last season with an injury to the same knee. Scott, signed as a free-agent in the offseason, had been working with the first team with starters Damione Lewis (leg) and Maake Kemoeatu (shoulder) sitting out. Darwin Walker (concussion-like symptoms) was also sidelined.
That left Gary Gibson, Stephen Williams and rookie Nick Hayden as the only healthy defensive tackles for Wednesdayís afternoon practice.
PUNCHES THROWN: When the Panthers reported to Wofford, quarterback Jake Delhomme said first-round pick Jeff Otah had ithat nastiness to him.î
Otahís mean streak was on display in the Panthersí first significant fight of training camp Wednesday morning.
When defensive end Tyler Brayton shoved him after a play, Otah responded with a roundhouse right punch. The two then exchanged punches and shoves as coaches blew their whistles. They were eventually separated.
iYou have that every camp,î Fox said. iThatís just a part of camp.î
OVERZEALOUS: Safety Nate Salley caught a lot of grief from his teammates when he tackled running back Decori Birmingham well after he stepped out of bounds following a long run down the right sideline.
First, backup center Geoff Hangartner got in Salleyís face and shoved him slightly. Then Delhomme made his feelings known.
iThatís undisciplined!î Delhomme shouted. iThatís how you lose.î
Avoiding penalties was a theme of the morning workout.
When tackle Frank Omiyale jumped the snap in an 11-on-11 drill, he was ordered off the field. The coaching staff, tired of false start penalties, made Omiyale run a lap around the field.
EXTRA POINTS: Naíil Diggs and Landon Johnson split time working with the first team at strongside linebacker. … Undrafted rookie cornerback Darren Toney joined Ryne Robinson in returning kickoffs. … Former Carolina tight end Kris Mangum was hired as a replacement assistant coach at Southern Mississippi. Mangum will coach tight ends while Barney Farrar deals with health issues.