Panthers cut 12 players, including 3 waived/injured
The Panthers cut nine players on Saturday, including quarterback Colby Cameron, punter Jordan Gay, cornerback Nick Hixson, kicker Morgan Lineberry, receiver Dale Moss, defensive end Louis Nzegwu, linebacker Ryan Rau, safety Ricardo Silva and guard Justin Walls.
Usually, there aren't many big names or surprises in this early round of cuts, and the Panthers were no different. The Panthers may only keep two quarterbacks, though they could still head into the regular season with three players at the position on their roster. Lineberry never stood out in training camp/preseason competition against incumbent kicker Graham Gano, or Gay against returning punter Brad Nortman. The Panthers are also crowded at linebacker and have great depth at defensive end, so no surprise there either.
The Panther also waived offensive tackle Bruce Campbell (shoulder), wide receiver Kealoha Pilares (knee) and fullback Michael Zordich (knee) with an injured designation.
The fourth-year player Campbell, who was also listed as the backup left tackle suffered a rotator cuff injury early in camp. Campbell underwent surgery, later in camp, which will prevent him from playing this season.
Rookie Zordich tore his ACL in the Panthers preseason opener.
Meanwhile, Pilares, who was the Panthers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2011, tore a ligament in his right knee while returning the opening kickoff of Thursday’s 34-27 preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens. The third-year pro was already expected to be on the roster bubble even if he managed to stay healthy this season. Over the past two seasons, Pilares caught only two passes for the Panthers, though he did have a 101-yard kickoff return for the touchdown last year.
If no one claims either one of them, then trio will revert to the Panthers’ injured reserve list.
The Panthers will have to put another three players on the chopping block to meet the 75-player limit by Tuesday. The roster trimmings are expected to continue until the Panthers reach the league approved 53-man final roster by Saturday.