Jon Beason displays energy, quickness

Linebacker Jon Beason was flying around the practice field Wednesday on the second day of the Panthers’ minicamp.

He was at a new position, but he was back with the first-team defense – and that was enough for Panthers coach Ron Rivera to be encouraged.

Beason, coming off knee and shoulder surgeries, spent most of the three weeks of organized team activities on the sideline, and it was assumed he wouldn’t see much action until training camp in July.

But after the team’s medical staff cleared him, Beason returned to practice.

If he was at less than full speed, Rivera didn’t notice.

“They passed him on the physical, so I assume he’s 100 percent. He moved around like it. He made some plays,” Rivera said. “You really see that energy coming back. You see that quickness.”

Beason worked at strongside linebacker next to Luke Kuechly, who took Beason’s spot in the middle after Beason went down last season. Kuechly was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading the league in tackles.

Beason has played in just five games the past two seasons. He blew out his Achilles early in the 2011 season, and underwent three surgeries in a 17-month span.

But Rivera said he was not hesitant about putting Beason back on the field.

“Jon works so hard at everything. It really didn’t surprise me that he’d be ready to go,” Rivera said. “And I’m glad to see him out there. I think he’s going to help us, just his presence and who he is as a football player.”

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