A big piece of the defense will return to the field Sunday when the Panthers take on the Falcons. Matt Rhule said Friday that he expects linebacker Shaq Thompson will travel to Atlanta and play. Thompson has been sidelined with a foot injury since Carolina’s week-four loss to the Cowboys. Prior to that, Thompson was playing some of his best football – registering 24 total tackles, including 10 in the week-one win over the Jets, two passes defended and one interception.
“I’m happy to get out there and work with my brothers,” Thompson said Thursday. “It’s been a rough three weeks for me, just not being out there with them. It’s rough when you go through meetings and everything else and find out you’re not playing.”
Rhule said all-pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is questionable.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow; have him do some things and see if he’s able to go. I feel very confident in Shaq and Stephon is still wait and see.”
The Panthers look to end a four-game losing this week against divisional foe Atlanta and need all the help they can get. Carolina has lost six of the last eight matchups against the Falcons.