With tackle Jeff Otah yet to practice this season and guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Travelle Wharton nicked by injuries, the Carolina Panthers signed offensive lineman Chris Morris on Wednesday. He fills the roster spot created when Carolina waived defensive tackle Louis Leonard on Tuesday.
Morris, 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, spent the last four seasons with the Oakland Raiders prior to being released in the final roster cutdown on Sept. 4. He has played in 47 career games with 11 starts.
"We've been a little light on the offensive line, in particularly with (Jeff) Otah's absence, and we're a little nicked with Mackenzy (Bernadeau)," head coach John Fox said. "It was a position we felt we needed to get an active roster spot."
In 2009, Morris started 10 games for the Raiders, making six starts at left guard and four at center. He made his only other career start at right guard in 2008.
The addition of Morris gives the Panthers nine offensive linemen on the roster and provides another option for a backup center. Bernadeau, the starting right guard, had been the top alternative. Morris' versatility also allows him to play either guard spot, helping starting right tackle Geoff Schwartz, who was first in line behind Bernadeau.
Drafted in the seventh round from Michigan State by Oakland in 2006, Morris began his rookie season on the Raiders' practice squad before being signed to the active roster for the last five games of the year. He then played in 10 games in 2007 on special teams and as a reserve offensive lineman.