Kelvin Benjamin Dedicating 2017 Season to Mother Who Died in July

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 24:  Tim Cook #41 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to tackle Kelvin Benjamin #13 of the Carolina Panthers during a preseason game at EverBank Field on August 24, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin said he is dedicating the 2017 season to his mother, who died in July. 

"Every play, every snap I'm dedicating to her," Benjamin said, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Benjamin, 26, revealed his mother's death in an Instagram post on July 28.

"I buried my mom last weekend. I was in a dark place," Benjamin said in the post. "But been around my bros! It crazy how I I feed off there Energy. Love mom keep watching over me."

Benjamin has largely kept himself away from the media during training camp. He is slotted as the Panthers' top receiver on their depth chart, coming off a 63-catch, 941-yard campaign in 2016. The former Florida State standout should be fully healthy after a 2015 ACL tear but drew criticism in the offseason for being out of shape.

Nevertheless, Panthers players and coaches have gone out of their way to compliment Benjamin's work during training camp.

"Benji has had an unbelievable training camp," Carolina QB Cam Newton said, per the team's official website. "I do see growth out of him and we need that growth out of him because he is pretty much the leader of that room."