CHARLOTTE – Cornerbacks Teddy Williams and Zack Sanchez -- two potential depth pieces for the Panthers' secondary -- are among six injury-related transactions that began the team's trimming of the 90-man roster to 53.
Williams (shoulder) has been placed on injured reserve, and Sanchez (groin) was waived/injured. Both were injured during Thursday's preseason finale against the Steelers.
Tight end Scott Simonson (back), rookie wide receiver Fred Ross (ankle) and offensive linemen David Yankey (back) and Dan France (concussion) also were placed on injured reserve.
The Panthers also released veteran wide receiver Trevor Graham and waived seven others – defensive ends Efe Obada and Arthur Miley, defensive tackles Gabriel Mass and Connor Wujciak, cornerback Devonte Johnson, tight end Bryce Williams and center Brian Folkerts. The Panthers now have 77 players on their roster. They must pare that down to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m.
Teddy Williams, a special teams contributor noted as a gunner on punt team, showed progress on the defensive side of the ball last season and showed more of the same this preseason. The same can be said of Sanchez, a fifth-round draft choice in 2016 who started the year on the practice squad before joining the 53-man roster.
Simonson spent the second half of the 2015 season and the first half of the 2016 season on the active roster, serving as a third tight end at times. Yankey, a guard, saw limited action the final six games last season. France, a tackle, was on the roster for the final five games of 2016 but did not play.
Obada didn't count toward the 90-man roster and is now free to sign with any team. As a fledgling member of the league's International Player Pathway Program, he may be signed to any other team's roster or 10-man practice squad after cuts, or he could be an exempt 11th member of the Panthers' practice squad who then wouldn't be eligible for promotion to the 53-man roster.
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