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Carolina Panthers

Panthers sign center Austin

CHARLOTTE - The Panthers have signed former Clemson standout Thomas Austin to bolster their depth at center.

Austin takes the roster spot previously held by three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil, who suffered a season-ending foot injury Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Austin, a Camden, S.C., native, split his time between center and guard at Clemson, where he was a second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior in 2009.

The 6-4, 303-pounder spent most of his rookie season on the New England Patriots' practice squad. He was on the Houston Texans' 53-man roster all of last season and was active for the final three regular season games, making his NFL debut against the Panthers in Week 14.

Austin spent the first four weeks of this season on the Patriots' practice squad before being waived Oct. 2.

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