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Panthers activate Brian Burns, Shaq Thompson from COVID-19 reserve list

With Sam Darnold as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Mike Florio and Chris Simms wonder how he will do against the New Orleans Saints defense in Week 17.

The Panthers activated three players from the COVID-19 list Saturday, the team announced.

Defensive end Brian Burns, defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr. and linebacker Shaq Thompson are back from reserve/COVID-19.

Burns has totaled nine sacks, 48 tackles, 17 quarterback hits and 13 tackles for loss through 15 games. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl.

Thompson has compiled 91 tackles in 12 games.

The Panthers still have 10 players on the COVID-19 reserve list, including pass rusher Haason Reddick. Carolina also won’t have cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin) on Sunday.

The Panthers filled in the holes by promoting six players from the practice squad.

Defensive end Austin Larkin is a standard elevation. Running back Spencer Brown, cornerback Madre Harper, offensive lineman Mike Horton, tight end Stephen Sullivan and tight end Colin Thompson are COVID-19 replacements.

That gets Carolina to 55 eligible players for the game against the Saints.