CHARLOTTE – The Panthers placed right tackle Jeff Otah on injured reserve Tuesday while filling out their active roster with two familiar faces and a third player familiar to area college football fans.
The Panthers signed running back Josh Vaughan and linebacker Abdul Hodge, who spent time earlier this season on Carolina's practice squad and active roster, respectively. They also claimed former North Carolina State running back Andre Brown off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts.
The three roster spots became available with Otah, quarterback Matt Moore and linebacker Dan Connor moving to IR.
Otah underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in training camp and hoped to be ready for the start of the regular season, but a setback in rehabilitation pushed that back. As recently as last week, Otah said he was getting better and expressed hope that he'd play this season.
Otah started 12 games as a rookie in 2008 and 13 in 2009 before he hurt the knee that gave him trouble again leading into training camp.
As for Tuesday's additions, Brown is the true newcomer of the group, though the Greenville, N.C., native made a name for himself with the Wolfpack, overcoming a broken left foot twice to become just the seventh 2,500-yard rusher in school history.
Brown, picked by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, then ruptured his left Achilles' tendon in training camp last year and spent his rookie season on injured reserve.
Brown, however, made it back to take part in training camp with the Giants this season. They waived him in final roster cuts, and Brown subsequently spent time on both the practice squads and active rosters of the Denver Broncos and then the Colts before Indianapolis waived him Monday. He was active for three games with the Broncos and one with the Colts, rushing two times for minus-1 yard with the Broncos.
Vaughan recently spent some time on the Colts practice squad as well, joining them after the Panthers terminated him from their practice squad on Sept. 23. Vaughan had just joined the Buffalo Bills practice squad on Monday before Carolina came calling.
A University of Richmond product, Vaughan ranked second on the Panthers with 75 rushing yards in the preseason.
Hodge didn't have much time to find work elsewhere since he left Carolina. The Panthers signed him as a free agent on Oct. 27, then waived him Nov. 3. In between, Hodge was inactive for the Oct. 31 game at St. Louis.
The reacquisition of Hodge came about because of the loss of Connor and fellow linebacker Thomas Davis, whom the Panthers announced Monday wouldn't be taken off the physically unable to perform list.
The running back acquisitions were necessitated by a rash of injuries. DeAngelo Williams (foot), Jonathan Stewart (head) and Tyrell Sutton (ankle) are listed as day-to-day, leaving Mike Goodson as the only healthy running back besides fullback Tony Fiammetta.