The Panthers placed linebacker Jamar Williams on injured reserve with a neck injury on Wednesday and signed linebacker Abdul Hodge to take his roster spot.
Williams suffered a spinal concussion while attempting to make a tackle on punt coverage in the first quarter versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 26 and was inactive the next three games. He had practiced just once since the injury occurred, the Wednesday before the Oct. 10 game against the Chicago Bears. Last week, Williams said that multiple opinions on his injury and an MRI that showed inflammation led to a more cautious approach.
"He's been a little bit symptomatic still from that injury, and this is one of those types of injuries where you err on the side of caution," head coach John Fox said. "It was going to be probably six to eight weeks before he could respond, so we went ahead and made that move and he'll continue doing his rehab."
The fifth-year veteran joined Carolina in a trade with Chicago following the NFL Draft on April 27. Williams played in three games and registered two special teams tackles.
Hodge (6-0, 236 pounds) has played in 30 games with one start in four NFL seasons, posting 20 tackles, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery on defense and logging 19 tackles and one forced fumble on special teams. He had been released by Cincinnati in the final roster cutdown on Sept. 4.
Originally a third-round draft choice (67th overall) from Iowa by the Green Bay Packers in 2006, Hodge played in eight games with one start as a rookie and notched 12 tackles and two passes defensed in addition to returning a fumble for a touchdown. He spent the 2007 campaign on injured reserve with a knee injury.
After being waived by Green Bay prior to the start of the 2008 regular season, Hodge split the year between Cincinnati's practice squad, active roster and injured reserve. In 2009, he played in all 16 games and finished fourth on the Bengals with 11 special teams tackles.