BOSTON (CBS) — Stephon Gilmore will step on the field with his new team for the first time this week. The former Patriots cornerback, who started the season on the PUP list, will practice with the Carolina Panthers leading up to the team’s Week 7 matchup with the New York Giants.

That doesn’t mean Gilmore, who hasn’t played in a game since Week 15 of last season when he was with the Patriots, will be active for Week 7. But it’s a necessary step in the veteran’s comeback. Once he returns to the field, the Panthers will have three weeks to activate him or shut him down for the season.

But a return to the field could mean Gilmore’s Panthers debut will come in the near future. It would also put him on track to play against his former team on Nov. 7, when the Patriots visit the Panthers.

Gilmore started the season on PUP with the quadriceps injury that he suffered last season and required offseason surgery. New England traded him to the Panthers on Oct. 6, after he and the team couldn’t agree on a new contract. Gilmore is in the final year of his deal.

CBSBoston.com Staff