Damione Lewis

Lewis likes new schedule

The grueling practices of training camp are tough on everyone in pads, but perhaps a little more so for the big guys. Guys like Damione Lewis, the 6-foot-2, 301-pound defensive tackle who is entering his seventh season.

Thus the news that the Panthers have altered their training camp schedule this season to incorporate more night practices and fewer two-a-days was like announcing free ice cream for every kid on the block.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Lewis upon his arrival at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC on Friday. “Obviously it’s keeping us out of the heat of the day and giving us a lot longer to recover. And I think that’s a great deal.

“The older you get, the longer it takes to recover. I think it’s going to help the veteran guys a lot. The rookies, it doesn’t matter because it’s the first time they’ve been through it anyways. So it’s going to hurt for them regardless. For us, it’s a big deal.”

Dealing with training camp is something that should get easier with time, but doesn’t necessarily. Lewis, who spent his first five camps with the St. Louis Rams and is now beginning his second with the Panthers, was asked what training camp compares to.

Lewis gives Panthers solid backup - Defensive lineman 'feeling good' after having offseason surgery on his shoulder

Damione Lewis is a former first-round NFL draft pick.

Last season, he joined the Carolina Panthers as a backup to Maake Kemoeatu and Kris Jenkins at defensive tackle — and played well despite recurring shoulder problems.

He’s healthy again after off-season surgery, and he’s working with the first unit during the Panthers’ summer-school sessions while Jenkins stays away.

That may or may not mean anything by the time training camp rolls around next month. But until then, Lewis is feeling good about being a Panther and the Panthers are feeling good about having a proven player at the position in the case the Jenkins soap opera takes any more dramatic turns.

“Things are going pretty good for me,” Lewis said yesterday as the Panthers started the second week of voluntary workouts with Jenkins still the only veteran missing. “I’m feeling good. I’m still working through some kinks with the shoulder but it feels a helluva lot better now than it did last year at this time. So I’m feeling pretty good about things.”

Damione Lewis Update

Very quietly, defensive tackle Damione Lewis played through some major pain last year. Lewis said he began experiencing shoulder pain during an early-October game against Cleveland but kept playing the rest of the season.

He had surgery to remove bone chips in late February and was limited to running during the minicamp. Lewis is working on regaining his strength but expects to be 100 percent for the start of training camp