There's very little incentive for a team to rush an injured player back on the field early in the offseason, so it's not surprising that the Carolina Panthers are taking their time with some injured starters. Offensive tackle Jordan Gross, running back Jonathan Stewart and center Ryan Kalil are all said to be progressing well in their respective recoveries, but none are expected to return before training camp at the end of summer, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Gross, 32, underwent surgery on his ankle in February and agreed to take a pay cut in March so he could remain with the Panthers. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Gross has made 151 starts in the 10 seasons since he was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Stewart, 26, also underwent ankle surgery after the 2012 season that was plagued by injuries for the former-first round pick. Appearing in only nine games and making just six starts, The Stewart had a career-low in rushing yards and scored just one touchdown.
Panthers finished the 2012 season with a 7-9 record after winning their final four games of the season. The team ranked 18th in the NFL in both points scored and points allowed.