SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Panthers have made a series of roster moves that began with cornerback Chris Houston's decision to retire.
Carolina signed cornerback T.J. Heath and defensive tackle Kenny Horsley prior to the team's return to the practice field Wednesday following a day off. The Panthers also waived kicker Matt Wile.
Houston, a second-round draft pick in 2007, signed with the Panthers in June after being out of the league in 2014 because of a toe injury. Wile, an undrafted rookie from Michigan, saw his second stint with Carolina end after less than a week.
"Chris felt it was time to retire," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He had that toe surgery a year ago, and it just didn't feel right to him. We sat down and talked about it, and he said, 'It doesn't allow me to perform at my best.'
"It was tough because he had a good minicamp, but that foot was just giving him too many problems."
Heath has bounced around the NFL since being signed as an undrafted rookie by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He played in five games as a rookie and appeared in two games for the Miami Dolphins last season. In between, the Jacksonville State product spent time with Cleveland, Buffalo and Cincinnati but didn't appear in any games.
Horsley was signed to a future contract by the Washington Redskins in January – his first NFL opportunity – but was waived in May. A product of Bethel University and Mesabi Range Community College in Minnesota, the Virginia native has played some defensive end and played in the Canadian Football League in 2013.
In addition, wide receiver Stephen Hill is back on Carolina's roster and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is no longer on it. Hill, who was waived/injured Sunday after suffering a season-ending knee injury, cleared waivers and was placed on injured reserve by the Panthers. Martin, who was on the reserve/did not report list, completed the paperwork related to his retirement.