Stephen Hill's injury looked bad; Ted Ginn Jr. looks great

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Observations from the Carolina Panthers' second practice of training camp at Wofford College:

  • Scary moment: This has to begin with wide receiver Stephen Hill landing awkwardly on his right leg and screaming in pain as trainers and teammates rushed to his side. Players quickly realized how serious it was and stopped what they were doing or took a knee and prayed. "Ah, man," wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said. "That hurt. I know how important this season was for him and what he wanted to do. To see him go down like that and see that frustration in his face. ... I'm going to pray for him and stick by him as much as I can." Hill eventually was carted off the field. Assistant head coach Steve Wilks did not give an immediate update on the extent of the injury, but it didn't look good.

  • Change of mood: The energy was high prior to Hill's injury despite the absence of head coach Ron Rivera, who left Saturday morning to attend the funeral of his brother in Reno, Nevada. Mickey Rivera died on Tuesday after nearly a two-year fight with pancreatic cancer. The mood was much quieter after Hill's injury, although players remained focused on the task.

  • Big play I: Early in practice, Ginn caught a deep touchdown pass from quarterback Cam Newton with cornerback Chris Houston trailing. As he hauled in the pass, he and Houston came up quickly on the 4-foot white fence that surrounds the fields. Both easily leaped the fence with Houston holding onto Ginn's shoulder as they went over. Ginn said it reminded him of his high school days when he ranked No. 1 in the country in the 110-meter hurdles.

  • Big play II: Later in practice, Ginn beat cornerback Josh Norman badly over the middle for a long touchdown catch. He was at least 5 yards clear of Norman, who earlier in the day talked about how he was one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. It was a reminder that Ginn will contribute to this team as a speed receiver as well as a kick returner.

  • Safety switch? Roman Harper worked as the starting free safety and Kurt Coleman the starting strong safety for much of the day. That left second-year player Tre Boston, who finished as the starting free safety last season, with the second group. Wilks, whose primary job is coaching the secondary, said the team is trying different combinations early in camp.

  • Extra point: Kicker Graham Gano got a couple of cheers, the first when he buzzed the cameraman in a kick high above the crossbars on an extra point attempt and later when he kicked the ball directly to the cameraman on a field goal attempt. Such accuracy is why the Panthers aren't worried about moving the PAT spot to the 15-yard line.

  • Time to hit: The pads go on Sunday when Carolina practices at 9:25 a.m. ET. Wilks will continue to handle Rivera's duties until Rivera returns later in the day.