On Monday, Rivera said the goal remained about 35 snaps a game for the third-year wide receiver who is returning from a season-ending ACL injury. He seemed to consider anything more in Thursday’s NFL opener at Denver a bonus.
On Tuesday, Rivera indicated he would be happy with less. He made it clear he’s not looking for the 57.8 snaps a game Benjamin got during his rookie season in 2014. That year, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin played 926 out of 1,105 snaps -- 83.8 percent of team’s offensive plays. He caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. But the Panthers were thin at wide receiver then, trying to find a replacement for all-time leading receiver Steve Smith. That’s not the case this season with Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr., Philly Brown and even Brenton Bersin playing at a higher level, the story all said.