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Friday, September 6, 2013
Injury update: Potential starters intriguing

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers could start a defensive tackle who has been out of the NFL since 2010, a safety who was signed on Monday and an offensive lineman who never has started -- all in Sunday's opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

Let's break it down:

• Starting defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (thigh) missed Friday's practice with a thigh injury. He is listed as questionable. If he can't go, the Panthers will turn to Colin Cole, an eight-year veteran who has been out of the league the past two seasons.

Cole last played for the Seahawks in 2010 before injuring an ankle toward the end of the season. He was the first player signed by new general manager Dave Gettleman.

"He had a great camp and really dedicated himself to getting back," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said on Friday. "We have that confidence he can be that guy again.''

• Strong safety Mike Mitchell (calf) is "definitely doubtful," according to Rivera. If he can't go, Carolina will start Quintin Mikell, who joined the team on Monday after being released by the Rams earlier this year for salary cap reasons.

Rivera is upbeat because Mikell is a veteran who has played in a similar scheme before.

"But also because of the guys that are around him," Rivera said. "One of the things I really like is how [free safety] Charles Godfrey has really stepped it up. The corners have gravitated towards him. And then all the linebackers [have stepped up].

"It's one of those classic things when somebody comes in to replace somebody the other 10 guys pick it up. That has been outstanding.''

• Starting left guard Amini Silatolu (hamstring) also remained sidelined and is listed as questionable. Journeyman Chris Scott and Travelle Wharton will share the load even if Silatolu can play some. Scott has begun each of the last two practices with the first unit.

Out for Sunday are reserve backup running back Kenjon Barner (foot) and backup cornerback James Dockery (thumb). Domenik Hixon (hamstring), in the mix for the third receiver spot, is questionable.

Starting fullback Mike Tolbert (hamstring) and weakside linebacker linebacker Jon Beason (knee), as well as backup tight end Ben Hartsock (foot), are good to go.