Lotulelei finished this season with 26 tackles and four sacks in 16 games played.
Lotulelei's sack total was boosted by his trio of quarterback takedowns in Week 8, and although he didn't register a single sack after that outing, his four total still set a new career high. After missing time in both of the past two seasons, Lotulelei also put together a full campaign this time around, which help him post his highest tackle total since his 2013 rookie year. With his fifth-year contract option already picked up by the Panthers, Lotulelei will return to the team next season, when he'll hope his partner in crime, Kawann Short, will reach his own agreement to remain in Carolina as well.
Lotulelei registered six tackles (five solo) and three sacks in Sunday's win over the Cardinals.
Lotulelei led the charge as the Panthers defense got back to its dominating ways with eight sacks Sunday. With the help of three himself, Lotulelei's four sacks this season already mark a career best for him.
Lotulelei (hamstring) is not listed on Monday's injury report.
Despite missing the entire preseason schedule, Lotulelei avoided the first injury report of the regular season. He thus figures to start and handle his usual workload in Thursday's game, with his presence taking on added importance against a Denver offense that should be committed to the run. Lotulelei's absence during the preseason was believed to be cautionary.
Lotulelei suffered a hamstring injury early in training camp and also dealt with foot injuries over the past two seasons, so his absence from preseason game action seems cautionary in nature. That being said, there have been few reports regarding Lotulelei's status lately, so that'll be worthwhile to monitor in advance of Carolina's season opener next Thursday against the Broncos. If fully healthy, Lotulelei will partner Pro-Bowler Kawann Short at defensive tackle once again this term.
Lotulelei (hamstring) returned to practice Friday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Lotulelei sat out team drills during Thursday's session to rest a sore hamstring, but was a full participant just a day later. The imposing defensive tackle has endured his fair share of nagging injuries the past couple seasons, so it's no surprise if the Panthers decide to exercise caution with him on certain occasions this year.
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