If you had told fans that Daryl Williams would be questionable for the opener less than six weeks after he lay screaming on the practice fields of Wofford, you’d be greeted with slack-jawed disbelief and admonishment that you’re too positive. But sometimes the glass is half full as that’s the case as we head into the Panthers Week 1 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys – all signs point to Williams getting the nod at right tackle across from Taylor Moton. Ron Rivera said he’s “building confidence” that both Williams and Amini Silatolu – who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus during the preseason but said this week that he’s 100% – will be ready to suit up on Sunday.

“They came in today pretty good,” Rivera said about the two offensive linemen Friday. “The last couple of days, we’ve been able to increase their workload, which is really good and have them take the reps that have been set up for them. That’s been outstanding, we’ll see – tomorrow will be the final walkthrough, we’ll see how they are when they check in in the morning with [Ryan Vermillion] and we’ll go from there.”

Joining the two linemen on the injury report was Chris Manhertz as he recovers from offseason surgery to repair a Jones Fracture; he may take limited snaps behind Greg Olsen and rookie Ian Thomas – Curtis Samuel, who earlier this week reportedly had surgery to repair an irregular heartbeat, was declared out earlier in the week. Ron Rivera say the team will use a mix of other receivers like DJ Moore and Damiere Byrd to take on the role of Samuel – and that includes on special teams where it sounds like Byrd, Moore and McCaffrey are first in line for kick or punt return duties, with Jarius Wright and Captain Munnerlyn in the mix as well.

“It’ll be a mix,” Rivera said. “We feel very comfortable and confident in the guys we have – it’s one of those things where you look at the group of receivers we kept, for the most part with the exception of DJ [Moore], they’re all veterans that have experienced success on the field for us or in this league. I’m very confident and very comfortable with the group that we have to take up the position that we had set aside for Curtis specifically – whether it be on special teams or on offense.”

“These guys are all very capable and have had success.”

The full injury report is below:

PlayerInjuryGame StatusNotes
Curtis SamuelMedical IllnessOut
Chris ManhertzFootQuestionable
Amini SilatoluKneeQuestionable
Daryl Williams KneeQuestionable

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Josh Klein is Managing Editor of The Riot Report. His favorite Panther of all time is Chad Cota and he once AIM chatted with Kevin Greene. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshkleinrules.
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