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Ian Thomas activated from injured reserve

Ian Thomas

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers needed more help at the tight end position this week, and they got it just in time.

Veteran Ian Thomas was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, giving them another solid blocker heading into this week's game against the Cowboys.

Thomas had missed the previous four games with a calf strain but resumed practicing this week.

Thomas had two catches for 36 yards in the first five games this season. The former fourth-round pick from Indiana has 113 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in his career.

They had a vacant spot on the 53 this week, so they didn't need to make a corresponding move.

Starter Hayden Hurst is out this week with a concussion, and Giovanni Ricci remains on injured reserve with a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the season. That means Thomas and Tommy Tremblewill get the work this week along with Stephen Sullivan, who has missed some time with a shoulder issue of his own.

They also promoted wide receiver Mike Strachan from the practice squad (standard elevations) for depth this week.

Strachan had a 45-yard reception last week in Chicago, showing some big-play ability they could certainly use. It's his second standard elevation of a possible three.

View photos from the Panthers' practice on Thursday as they prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys.

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