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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Carolina Panthers TE room is overcrowded

One of the biggest surprises to emerge from the initial 53-man roster was the number of tight ends remaining on the Carolina Panthers. According to the depth chart, the coaching staff decided to take five through, although Giovanni Ricci has been switched to full-back over the latter stages of the preseason.

This still leaves them with four, which might be too many. Especially if the right player comes along on the waiver wire or further along the line.

It appears as if Dan Arnold and rookie Tommy Tremble are going to lead the charge. Carolina has also given a reprieve to Ian Thomas, who is heading into a contract year and is aiming to bounce back after a disappointing 2020 campaign.

If Ricci does become the full-back, it leaves Colin Thompson as potentially the odd man out. A little harsh perhaps, but “initial” is always the keyword when rosters get trimmed to 53.

The Panthers haven’t been afraid to make bold choices if they think it can benefit the team. Veterans such as Denzel Perryman and Greg Little were traded before yesterday’s roster cuts were finalized, so it would be a big shock if they had four or even five tight ends around by the time competitive action finally arrived.

This positional group appears overcrowded from the outside looking in. However, there is plenty of time for that to change.