Panthers’ Peppers practices, should be ready for season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers practiced on a limited basis for the first time since re-signing with the team earlier this offseason.

The 38-year-old Peppers underwent surgery on his right shoulder in February and has been rehabbing ever since. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said there’s no point in playing the 16-year NFL veteran in the preseason, but expects him to be ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Dallas.

Rivera says Peppers “looked good” during team drills Monday.

The team will increase his reps as the regular season approaches and expect him to play a role similar to last season when he had 11 sacks. Peppers is fourth on the NFL’s career sack list with 154½ and needs six to pass Kevin Greene for third place.