Just two weeks ago, neither Brandon Wegher nor Damiere Byrd had an inside shot at making the Panthers 53-man roster. Jordan Todman wasn’t a lock either. Fozzie Whitaker looked in solid control of the 3rd down back spot, and Corey Brown had edged himself in as a starter.
After two 4th quarter preseason comeback wins where Wegher, Byrd, and Todman played notable roles, these guys are on the fast track to making the 53-man roster.
It’s a bold statement, I know. Seriously, two bad offensive outings can’t oust two guys who were near locks to make the team. Carolina was going to try and stash Wegher and Byrd on the practice squad anyway, right? After Carolina’s cardiac comeback against the Dolphins, don’t expect Wegher, Byrd, or Todman to last a day on the practice squad if Carolina went that route. Another team would instantly scoop these guys up given there impressive preseason performances.
If Carolina wants to keep these guys around, they’re going to need to give them a jersey come opening week. This is going to mean making some tough decisions, ones that both surprise and hurt.
With Kelvin Benjamin out for the season, Carolina will need some protective padding at wide receiver. Brown’s bad outing this week won’t push him closer to the bubble likely. Byrd’s odds, however, increased given Benjamin’s injury. His play so far has helped too. Wegher has been a beast, but there’s some fat that would need to be trimmed if Carolina wants to keep him around. Both Fozzie Whitaker and Mike Tolbert could be that fat in the end.
One thing’s for certain, don’t expect any of these guys to last on the practice squad.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn