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Report: Graham Gano could miss half the season

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera says Cam Newton is set to play in Carolina's season opener despite sporting a walking boot last Thursday.

Panthers kicker Graham Gano has missed the preseason with a leg injury, and it’s not getting any better.

Gano’s knee is still bothering him and the Panthers may put him on injured reserve with the return designation, according to Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network.

That would require the Panthers to first put Gano on the active 53-man roster and then move him to injured reserve, where he’d have to stay off the field for at least eight weeks.

Last year Gano went 14-for-16 on field goals, including a 63-yarder that was tied for the second-longest in NFL history. The good news for the Panthers is that kicker Joey Slye is 6-of-6 in preseason field goals, including two from 50-plus yards. Slye may be able to do the job while Gano is out.