CHARLOTTE — The Panthers on Friday activated kicker Joey Slye and offensive lineman Trent Scott from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Carolina also placed cornerback Rasul Douglas on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Slye and Scott were placed on the list earlier this week but have cleared testing protocols to rejoin the team. Slye's return is particularly significant, as it means the Panthers will not have to break in a new kicker on short notice for Sunday's divisional contest in New Orleans.
Douglas was absent from practice on Thursday. While players may be placed on the list for a positive test or being in close contact with an individual who has tested positive, teams may not disclose which reason a player has been added.
As of Friday morning, the Panthers are proceeding with their regular walk-through schedule, and Sunday's game in New Orleans in on track to be played.
Douglas has started the past five games after Carolina claimed him off waivers from the Eagles at the start of the regular season. He's recorded six passes defensed and 27 total tackles.
Losing Douglas is a significant blow to a secondary that already saw starting safety Juston Burris go on the reserve/injured list earlier this week with a ribs injury. Cornerback Donte Jackson has also been battling through an unpredictable turf toe injury that's made him miss significant portions of games.
Rookies Troy Pride Jr., Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, and Sam Franklin all may see significant time in the defensive backfield against the Saints on Sunday. The Panthers are also hopeful that former Saints cornerback Eli Apple will be healthy enough to play.
The Panthers trail the all-time series against the Saints, 25-27. Carolina has played New Orleans more than any other team in its history.