CHARLOTTE — In advance of Sunday's matchup against the Saints, the Panthers have activated wide receiver Marken Michel and offensive lineman Mike Horton from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements.
Michel and Horton's activations are similar to the moves Carolina made to bring up running back Reggie Bonnafon and defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad earlier this season. But because Michel and Horton are classified as COVID-19 replacements, this does not count against their two available standard elevations.
After going undrafted out of Massachusetts in 2016, Michel has spent most of his professional career in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. He totaled 72 receptions for 1,215 yards receiving with eight touchdowns in Canada. He spent parts of the 2019 season and the 2020 offseason with the Eagles before signing with the Panthers in August. Michel been on the Panthers' practice squad since the start of the regular season.
Carolina signed Horton as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft. He started 32 games at Auburn at guard.
The Panthers currently have three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: cornerback Rasul Douglas, backup center Tyler Larsen, and offensive lineman Michael Schofield.
Additionally, the Panthers on Saturday signed kicker Taylor Bertolet to the practice squad. He's spent time with the Rams, Broncos, and Jets since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He has not kicked in a regular season game.
Though kicker Joey Slye was on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, he has been activated and will kick in Sunday's game. Bertolet provides insurance should another situation arise where Carolina may need a kicker on short notice.
The Panthers trail the all-time series against the Saints, 27-29. Carolina has played New Orleans more than any other team in its history.