Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive guard John Miller (67) runs onto the field during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers OL John Miller discusses COVID battle: ‘It’s real’

Carolina Panthers offensive lineman John Miller was a full participant at practice Thursday for the first time after he missed 10 days on the COVID-19 list.

Miller told reporters that he had certain symptoms “pretty bad” and it was not so simple returning to football shape as the Panthers prepare for a Week 2 tilt with the New Orleans Saints.

“I did a little conditioning, and I was like, ‘Wow, my lung capacity is not what it used to be,’” Miller said.

Miller was not vaccinated for COVID-19, based on NFL protocols that state unvaccinated players must spend at least 10 days on the reserve list set aside for the virus.

Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady said the team expects Miller will be available to play Sunday if called upon.

Miller, 28, is in his seventh NFL season and his second with Carolina after playing for the Buffalo Bills (2015-18) and Cincinnati Bengals (2019). He has played in 74 games, all starts, in his career, including 14 starts for the Panthers last year.

Miller said he watched the Panthers’ Week 1 win over the New York Jets from his bed at home as he continued to recover from the coronavirus.

“It’s COVID and it’s out there and it’s real,” Miller said. “It has been affecting every one of us.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive guard John Miller (67) during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers put starting OL John Miller on COVID list

The Carolina Panthers put starting right guard John Miller on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

His availability for Week 1 against the New York Jets depends on his vaccination status. If he tested positive but is vaccinated and asymptomatic, he can rejoin the team with two negative tests 24 hours apart. If he’s unvaccinated and tested positive, he will miss the season opener.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said last week the team had just two unvaccinated players.

Dennis Daley could get the nod if Miller is out.

Miller, 28, has started all 74 games he has played in since joining the league in 2015 with Buffalo. This is his second season in Carolina. He started 14 games for the Panthers in 2020.

–Field Level Media