The Panthers cleared Benjamin (knee) for training camp, but he'll be eased into action, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
On Thursday, Benjamin's initial routes at Wofford College will mark his first "full" practice since tearing the ACL in his left knee during an intrasquad practice with the Dolphins last August, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. In his absence, Cam Newton was forced to use all the receiving options at his disposal, and the most productive season of the quarterback's career ensued. Although Benjamin's return will be welcomed by Newton and the rest of the offense, the lessons learned by Newton could result in less attention paid to Benjamin. Nevertheless, in their sole campaign together in 2014, Benjamin rattled off 73 receptions (on 145 targets) for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
Brown underwent offseason shoulder surgery, the Charlotte Observe reports.
Brown tended to shoulder concerns in both 2014 and 2015, with the latter forcing back-to-back absences in Weeks 11 and 12. Otherwise, he picked up some of the slack in a receiving corps without top option Kelvin Benjamin, hauling in 31 passes (on 54 targets) for 447 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season. Brown impressed during the Panthers' playoff run, including a four-catch, 113-yard, one-touchdown performance in the NFC championship game, but his departure from the Super Bowl due to a concussion bogged down an offense that found difficulty making inroads against a staunch Broncos defense. Alas, the return of Benjamin should push Brown back to the slot, where he'll look to improve upon a career 57.8% catch rate.
Davis' broken arm is healing well, ESPN.com reports.
Davis broke his right forearm during the Panthers' NFC Championship victory, but had surgery the next day and played through the subsequent pain just two weeks later in the Super Bowl. While Davis still has a metal plate in his arm and is unable to lift weights at the moment, he's been progressing well in his recovery, which has seen the pain in his arm subside. Although Davis still has to temper his offseason preparations, it appears he's on track to make a full recovery ahead of training camp.
Benwikere (lower leg) is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Benwikere suffered a lower leg fracture in December, forcing him to miss the final three games of the regular season. He was most recently seen doing some sled pushing on Thursday during a rehab session, which indicates Benwikere has taken the next step in his recovery. While the PUP list is an option to the start the year if he sees any setbacks, Benwikere doesn't expect to take that route and he should be good to go by the start of training camp at the end up July. He'll look to solidify a starter's role after receiving four straight starts prior to the injury.
Kuechly (shoulder) has been cleared for practice, but head coach Ron Rivera indicated the star middle linebacker will be eased back into action, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Kuechly underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair a partially-torn labrum suffered Week 17 versus the Bucs. His recovery from which has reportedly been setback-free, and, now cleared for training camp, should be set to patrol the middle of the Panthers vaunted defense come Carolina's Week 1 Super Bowl rematch with Denver.
Cruz (calf) is taking part in individual drills at Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports.
A report last week said Cruz wouldn't participate in the three-day minicamp, but he's apparently ready to run routes and catch passes without facing a defender. This bodes quite well for his training camp availability, as he was already tentatively expected to be ready for the start of camp. It remains to be seen if Cruz is still effective, having last played in a game Nov. 12, 2014. He may also have to compete with rookie second-rounder Sterling Shepard for snaps, though the Giants figure to once again rank among the NFL leaders in use of three-wide formations.
Darkwa is expected to be held out of action for about a month due to a small fracture in his tibia, NJ.com reports.
The injury is considered minor, with the Giants simply playing it safe with the running back at this stage of the offseason. Once he returns to practice, Darkwa figures to compete for depth snaps (along with recently signed Bobby Rainey) in a crowded Giants' backfield that also rosters Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen.