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Reports: Panthers’ Brian Burns to play despite no deal

Aug 25, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (0) warms up before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Brian Burns is expected to play in Sunday’s opener against the host Atlanta Falcons despite failing to reach a new contract, ESPN and NFL Network reported.

Burns was a full participant in the past three practices after sitting out two.

“Everybody wants a full squad out there and no injuries to deal with and no absences to deal with. … But this is just normal life in the NFL,” Panthers coach Frank Reich said Friday. “When we get there Sunday, the guys that are there, we will do everything we can to go out there and win a football game.”

Burns is set to play this season on his fifth-year rookie option worth $16 million. The sides are not close on term of an extension, ESPN reported.

He has 38 career sacks, including a career-high 12.5 in 2022. He has started 51 of 64 career games since the Panthers selected him No. 16 overall in the 2019 draft.

Also, newly acquired wide receiver Adam Thielen (ankle) is expected to play against the Falcons.

–Field Level Media