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Ron Rivera Concerned the Panthers Staff Pushed Kelvin Benjamin's Return Too Far This Season

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations were high for the Carolina Panthers star receiver Kelvin Benjamin. He had a stellar rookie season, but then tore his ACL before the 2015 regular season games started keeping him on the sideline. Benjamin spent plenty of time in rehab working with trainers to get him back on track.

Rivera is now feeling like the team rushed Kelvin Benjamin's return and he has not been at his best all season. There are have been some speculations that Kelvin Benjamin was slightly overweight heading into this season. If you look at pictures of him during games he looks a little puffy. That has also shown in his poor route running. He almost looks winded after every route and seems to give up to easily. It is not uncommon for Cam Newton to want to just throw the ball high and let the 6'5'' receiver bring it down.

"We got ahead of ourselves with Kevlin earlier in the year," said Rivera. "As he has progressed, there's been moments he didn't play as well as he would've liked or we would've liked earlier in the year, but he was still out there. Now you're starting to see him round into shape. He is still learning."

It is interesting to note that Benjamin's usage during games and is receiving yards have been dropping. He had been kept out of practice a couple days this season to help his kneed fully recover.

Benjamin looked promising at the beginning of the season scoring four touchdowns in the first four games, but he has not returned in seven of the last eight games.