CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers starting left tackle Matt Kalil missed his second straight practice and head coach Ron Rivera revealed Kalil is battling knee soreness.

  • The Carolina Panthers are preparing for Week 3 of preseasons.
  • The Panthers play New England Friday night at Bank of America Stadium.  
  • The game will be shown on Spectrum News. 

Rivera added that they're being cautious with the injury with two weeks until the regular season but are hopeful it won't keep Kalil out long term.

"He struggled a little bit the other day (Friday's preseason game where Kalil allowed two sacks) because of it. But for the most part, you know, hopefully it's just one of those things that's a little something here or there and he'll be ready to roll once we get into the season," said Rivera.

Week three of the preseason is typically when the starters play the most, and it just so happens the first string will face AFC champion, New England.

Despite losing to Philadelphia in the Super Bowl last season, the Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, are still considered to be the cream of the crop in the NFL.

Panthers Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly looks forward to the opportunity.

"What they've done speaks for itself and Bellicheck and Brady are obviously quite the tandem," said Kuechly.

"I enjoy playing those guys, it's a fun challenge. They'll bring some interesting stuff to the table I'm sure and we're going to be ready to go."

The Panthers host New England this Friday night at Bank of America Stadium at 7:30. The game can be seen on Spectrum News.