Defensive end Ealy placed in concussion protocol

Kony Ealy 0729SPARTANBURG, SC (WCCB Charlotte) — Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy was placed in the team’s concussion protocol on Sunday forcing him out of the team’s second practice in pads.

Head coach Ron Rivera said he believes Ealy’s potential concussion occurred at the tail-end of Saturday’s first practice in pads.

“As they are trying to evaluate guys (after practice), Kony (Ealy) went upstairs and came in and they talked,” Rivera said about Ealy. “(The trainers) decided to put him in the protocol and to check to make sure he was okay.”

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and defensive end Charles Johnson were given “veteran days” and were held out of practice.

“With Kelvin (Benjamin) coming off his surgery, we have to be careful,” Rivera said.

Wide receiver Stephen Hill dressed for Sunday’s practice but did not participate in team drills.

“By design, we just want to make sure that knee is okay,” Rivera said. “We wanted to make sure he did most of his individual. If he’s okay tonight then we will get him back on the field.”

Rivera expects more players to rest for Monday’s practice as it will be a fifth straight day of practices and the third straight day in pads.