- David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Benjamin did not participate in Thursday’s practice, but was back on the field after being a no-show on Wednesday.
The 28th pick of the draft suffered the concussion on a second-quarter hit from Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He passed a sideline concussion test and finished the game, but complained of a headache when he arrived at the stadium on Monday.
“He continues in the protocol,’’ coach Ron Rivera said. “He did very well with the independent [doctor on Wednesday], and then today he did the next step with our guys and seemed to be doing very well.
“We’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow. Hopefully, he passes. If he does, great.’’
“It would be considerable, in light of who he is for us,’’ Rivera said of what it would mean to lose Benjamin for a game. “I will say I really do believe the other guys have stepped up and played well.
“With the quarterback [Cam Newton] back playing the way he’s capable and being healthy, relatively healthy, I feel good about what we can do offensively.’’
Running back Jonathan Stewart practiced full for the second straight day after missing the past three games with a knee injury. Rivera remains optimistic that Stewart will start against Green Bay.
“Looked very good and still very confident in him,’’ Rivera said of Stewart. “He had a really nice practice. He took an increased amount of reps, so we’re feeling pretty confident now.’’
Rivera remained in a “we’ll see’’ mode on cornerback Josh Norman, who missed the Cincinnati game with a concussion and has practiced on a limited basis this week.
Linebacker Chase Blackburn, who missed his second straight practice, said the knee he injured on Sunday is improving. Rivera expressed concern on Wednesday that Blackburn may miss a few games.