Panthers’ Peppers not fazed by slow start

Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers (90) during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium against the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 17.Photo Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers isn’t getting down about his lackluster statistics to start the season.

The 38-year-old Peppers, who is the oldest defensive player in the NFL, has recorded two tackles and no sacks while playing on only 45 snaps this season. Peppers will look to improve those numbers on Sunday when the Panthers (1-1) host the Cincinnati Bengals (2-0).

“We’ll get there. I’m not worried about that at all,” Peppers said, via the team’s website. “Right now I’m worried about helping us get a win this week against Cincinnati. The accolades, all that personal stuff, that will take care of itself.”

Peppers missed the entire preseason as he worked his way back from a shoulder injury. He’s not using that as an excuse, however.

“To get back on track with sacks? It’s something I know how to do, and I’m not that concerned about it,” the 6-foot-7, 280-pound Peppers said. “They always say that the first one is the hardest one to get and that they come in bunches. We’ll get there.”

Peppers, who had 11 sacks last season, is fourth all-time (154 1/2) and within 5 1/2 of catching Hall of Famer Kevin Greene for third.

The No. 2 overall selection in the 2002 NFL Draft, Peppers was NFC Rookie of the Year in 2002 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 while with the Panthers.

Peppers played for the Chicago Bears from 2010-13 and had 37.5 sacks. He was released after the 2013 season and wound up with the Green Bay Packers, notching 25 sacks in three seasons.

Peppers is the only player in NFL history with 150 sacks and 10 or more interceptions. He also leads all active players with 20 career fumble recoveries and ranks second in forced fumbles (49) in the NFL since 2002.