5 big shocks from the Carolina Panthers initial 53-man roster

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Will Grier /

What were some of the biggest shocks to emerge from the final round of cuts for the Carolina Panthers to finalize their initial 53-man roster?

It was an interesting process for the Carolina Panthers as they trimmed their roster down to 53 in time for the Tuesday deadline. The organization wasted no time in getting down to business early in the morning, with additional moves made just before the team took the field for practice.

This is just the initial 53-man roster. Those who made the team are now nervously awaiting which players the Panthers aim to acquire off the waiver wire and it would be a surprise if this is an avenue Carolina didn’t utilize considering their aggressive approach to recruitment during another eventful offseason.

The NFL is a cutthroat business. And this is arguably the worst day of the year for fringe players, coaches, agents, and media having to report these cuts.

Upon further examination, here are the five biggest shocks to emerge from Carolina’s initial 53-man roster.

Shock No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Thomas Fletcher /

Carolina Panthers LS Thomas Fletcher goes on IR

There had been some speculation as to just who the Panthers were going to announce as their long-snapper in 2021. As it turned out, a surprising injury problem regarding sixth-round pick Thomas Fletcher made the decision an easy one.

Fletcher turned up for practice on Tuesday with a red jersey on, which got people talking. The Panthers eventually confirmed that the player would be going on season-ending injured/reserve, leaving J.J. Jansen to assume the role for one more season at least.

This is all a coincidence. But the timing was impeccable from Carolina’s perspective.

Drafting Fletcher seemed like a strange move at the time. So it remains to be seen whether the Alabama product can still take up the role long-term in 2022 and beyond.