The Carolina Panthers didn’t just lose the game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. They also lost the entirety of their starting unit in the secondary. Captain Munnerlyn is the only starter left relatively healthy on the roster. “If another corner went down, reserve running back Armond Smith was the next man up,” Munnerlyn told the Charlotte Observer.
Starting off the list of players injured in the Buffalo game is the big one, free safety Charles Godfrey, who suffered a torn Achilles in the third quarter of the Buffalo game and is now out for the entirety of the season, being placed on injured reserve on Monday. Along with Godfrey, recent signee Quintin Mikell is day-to-day with an ankle sprain with more information coming later in the week. Rounding out the list is strong safety Mike Mitchell who has been fighting a calf injury since the preseason and has just recently been able to return to practice, but is not yet 100 percent.
As for the cornerbacks, D.J. Moore believes that he has a MCL sprain, but the injury has yet to be confirmed. However, both Josh Thomas and Josh Norman Have had their injuries confirmed. Norman has a sprained MCL and a deep thigh contusion, while Josh Thomas has a concussion, but could possibly be back this week against the Giants; the severity of his concussion is unknown.
This leaves James Dockery as the main backup corner who is coming off a thumb surgery and is still not quite 100 percent and Melvin White, an undrafted free agent who has been inactive for the first two regular season games. To help out with the injuries at safety the Panthers have brought up Robert Lester from the practice squad and plan to keep Colin Jones in the rotation. Moore also has some safety experience and could be a solid support man in the rotation come Sunday.
Ron Rivera apparently spoke with Dave Gettleman on Monday, per the Charlotte Observer, about whether to bring in a player from outside or potentially work with the remaining healthy bodies on the 53-man roster and practice squad.
Rivera said it may be secondary “by committee” and pointed to undrafted rookie White and Dockery as potential help at cornerback. As for the safety position, Rivera expects Mitchell to start with either Moore or Jones at the other safety position as well as Lester providing the support.
Now before I sign off, I have to promote Tides Color Campaign. You can follow Greg Olsen @gregolsen82 for updates on the Panthers’ locker room, Panther families, and most importantly, Panthers fans. Greg will be tweeting all pictures with the hashtag #ourcolors and you can follow @TideNFL for updates from around the NFL.
You can also follow me @TonySchnikes for all Panther updates as well as updates from my own personal life. I will be attending the Panthers-Giants game this Sunday and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be tweeting anything and everything using #ourcolors. The tailgate, the walk into the stadium, and the game itself! So remember CatCrave readers, @TonySchnikes!