CHARLOTTE – With injury concerns along the offensive line and in the defensive backfield, and in the midst of a quick turnaround, the Panthers made a series of roster moves Tuesday.
Carolina signed offensive tackle Mike Remmers off the St. Louis Rams' practice squad and promoted safety Robert Lester from its own practice squad. The team made room on the 53-man roster by waiving running back Darrin Reaves and placing linebacker Chase Blackburn on injured reserve.
Starting offensive tackles Byron Bell and Nate Chandler both missed some playing time because of injuries Sunday against Seattle, and the Panthers must turn around and host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. Carolina didn't conduct a full practice Monday but estimated that Bell (knee) wouldn't have practiced while Chandler (thigh) would have been limited.
The injury report also estimated that safety Thomas DeCoud (hamstring) and cornerback Bene Benwikere (ankle) would not have practiced. This is the second time Lester, who played 12 games for the Panthers as a rookie in 2013, has been promoted from the practice squad this season, but he is yet to play in a game.
Remmers, who started every game over his final three seasons at Oregon State, was an undrafted rookie in 2012. The 6-5, 300-pounder spent the final 15 games of 2012 and the first five games of 2013 on Tampa Bay's practice squad before San Diego signed him off the Buccaneers practice squad. Remmers played in one game for the Chargers, then spent the final four games with the Minnesota Vikings but did not appear in any games.
With running backs Ryan Kalil and Christian McCaffrey expected to play in the same game Thursday for the first time since Week 1, the team waived Reaves. The undrafted rookie from Alabama-Birmingham was a valuable asset for a position rocked by injuries, playing in six games with one start and rushing for 77 yards on 32 carries and catching five passes for 31 yards.
Blackburn missed the last two games with a knee injury suffered in Week 6 at Cincinnati. The 10-year veteran had played in six games with two starts, recording 11 tackles. Blackburn had been a fixture in the starting lineup when healthy alongside Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis since signing with the Panthers prior to the 2013, but Carolina has featured more nickel defense this season with just Kuechly and Davis on the field at linebacker.