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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers sent first-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin for an MRI on Monday after he complained of soreness in his left knee.
|The Panthers are taking precautions with first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin, sending the WR to get an MRI.|
The former Florida State wide receiver bumped his knee on a teammate during Sunday's late-afternoon practice.
Team officials said the injury did not appear serious, but there was enough concern to have Benjamin miss Monday morning's practice and travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, purely for precautionary reasons.
"I'm optimistic," coach Ron Rivera said. "He shook it off and he finished practice. It could just be one of those things where if he had iced it right away and not finished practice maybe it would have been better. If it's negative we'll just keep on rolling. I'm optimistic that is what it's going to be."
Benjamin has been working as the No. 1 receiver and quarterback Cam Newton's first read at the start of most team drills and Rivera wants the rookie on the field as much as possible.
"He's had a great camp," Rivera said. "He came in in tip-top shape and ready to roll. He's one of those guys who spent time with Cam [before camp] working out. It's one of those that we want to make sure and be smart about."
Results of the MRI aren't expected until later Monday.
Benjamin, 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, was the 28th pick of the draft. He is the heir apparent to the No. 1 receiver's job that came open when Carolina cut all-time leading receiver Steve Smith during the offseason.
Benjamin caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns last year for Florida State, including the winning touchdown against Auburn in the national championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.