Carolina Panthers defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. hurts his chances at making the 53-man roster.
The Carolina Panthers have historically erred on the side of caution when dealing with any outside legal issues not associated with football. Previous ownership accusations against Jerry Richardson – who immediately put the team up for sale and removed himself from the organization – assault charges against Greg Hardy and the stain left by actions of wide receiver Rae Carruth all presented difficult situations.
Although not near the same magnitude – a speeding ticket citation coupled with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession may hurt the chances of Bryan Cox Jr. making the final 53-man roster. Under new owner David Tepper, how the team elects to handle this particular scenario will set a precedent for any future off the field issues.
Cox was cited for speeding, marijuana following training camp on Wednesday. Ahead of three remaining preseason games – one this Friday against the Buffalo Bills – it remains to be determined if he will be allowed to participate this week. A court date has been set for October 14, the day after the Panthers are scheduled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London.
Currently listed as the backup left defensive end for Carolina in their new 3-4 scheme, Cox made four stops in his first preseason action at Chicago, including a tackle for a loss. With the Panthers since signing as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 2017 season, Cox worked his way onto the roster and was expected to make an impact this year.
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Carolina worked all offseason to revamp their defensive front in an effort to improve pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stop the run game. Adding veterans Bruce Irvin, Gerald McCoy and selecting former Florida State standout Brian Burns in the first-round, there are plenty of new faces who will definitely be taking up roster positions which may have been up for grabs in years past.
Former first-round pick Vernon Butler and Efe Obada, who has been playing well since late last season, are also vying for positions along the Panthers front line. Again, Cox’s citation isn’t near the magnitude as those situations mentioned earlier but when it comes down to determining who makes the team, having a recent off the field issue isn’t a good thing.
Final 53-man rosters must be finalized prior to 4:00pm ET on August 31.