Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t looked much like a rookie in the preseason, but his first rookie mistake came Sunday night.
After grabbing a pass well out of bounds on a throw-away from Derek Anderson, Benjamin got up and flicked the ball at Chiefs cornerback Chris Owens.
He wasn’t done, though. He then head-butted Owens and shoved him with two hands. The unnecessary play drew a 15-yard penalty in the final seconds of the first half and pushed the Panthers out of field-goal range.
“I think this is one of those things where you’ve got to stand up for yourself,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “There’s a point where you have to draw a line and a guy has to understand that if you continue to do this, I’m going to draw a line in the sand. I did tell him if you want to get back at somebody, just go make a play.”
Benjamin doesn’t have the reputation of being temperamental, so the trifecta of the ball flick, head butt and shove seemed out of character, the story said. But it's a reminder for a player who has drawn nothing but positive press lately that he is still a rookie. That aside, he's still primed for a pretty good season as a potential WR1 for the Panthers.