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Andre Roberts designated to return from IR

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CHARLOTTE — It's return season, and the Panthers might be getting one of the best to do it back on the field.

The Panthers designated veteran return man Andre Roberts to return from injured reserve Tuesday, opening the 21-day window to activate him to the 53-man roster.

They placed the 34-year-old wide receiver on injured reserve in September because of a knee issue. He played in the opener, with a 10-yard punt return and two kickoffs for 35 yards.

But throughout his career, he's been one of the most productive returners in the game. A three-time All-Pro pick, he entered this season with 8,578 combined return yards, the most by any player since 2010. The Panthers are 22nd in the league in punt return average, and seventh in kickoff return average (though they lead the league in average drive start on kickoffs).

Also Tuesday, the Panthers released cornerback Tae Hayes from the practice squad. They're currently looking at some secondary options after CJ Henderson suffered an ankle injury during Sunday's loss to the Steelers.

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