The Carolina Panthers made a minor move on Friday.
A member of the Carolina Panthers is getting another shot to contribute on the active roster. Wide receiver/kick returner Greg Dortch has been promoted from the practice squad head of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
He has served the role of kick returner before for the Carolina Panthers. Against the Titans, he returned to punts for 11 yards. He also managed to return two kicks for 52 yards. Since that game, he bounced around the Carolina Panthers organization. He was signed to the practice squad a few weeks after the Titans game. It is great to see him get another shot at the returning duties.
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Dortch may have a bigger impact on the game than one might think. Field position is going to be at a premium, and depending on the type of playcalling Carolina elects to use, every return could mean quite a bit. At the very least, Carolina has someone who has experience in the role. Kick returns are something they have struggled with this year, and he allows them the flexibility to have both a receiver and kick returner at their disposal.
As a corresponding move, the team waved wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The team signed him on November 4. He was rarely used, appearing in three games and recording no statistics.
To me, this is a move that was made in order to evaluate what the Panthers have in Dortch. Now is the time that they want to see what type of talent they have on the roster and where they need to make cuts. Additionally, if Dortch performs well over these next couple of weeks, he can make his case to stay on the roster.
What may seem like a minor move is a huge move for Dortch. The Carolina Panthers are going in a different direction with their football team. Now is his chance to make his case to stay on the roster. He probably isn’t the only one either. I have a feeling that the Panthers will use these last couple of weeks to shape their roster for the future. There may be some players from the Rivera regime that they want to get rid of, and they may also see something in others that they think could translate well to the future of the team.
Once a new coach comes to Charlotte, we will get a better idea of what types of players fit. Guys like Dortch are invaluable in terms of being solid special teams players. I’m obviously not part of the Panthers organization, but if I were them I would consider keeping Dortch around.