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Carolina Panthers still searching for right receiver combination

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David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is one of three near locks to make the team, but after that there is a group competing for the final two or three spots.

SPARTANBURG Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera confirmed Tuesday that Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are the team’s top three receivers.

While that isn’t exactly breaking news, Rivera mentioned five other receivers vying for the final two or three spots on the 53-man, regular-season roster.

Brenton Bersin, Philly Brown, Tiquan Underwood, Tavarres King and Kealoha Pilares were all mentioned as emerging players. In addition to the five or six on the 53-man roster, the Panthers may carry one receiver on the practice squad.

While Brown, Underwood and Pilares are all punt and/or kick returners, Rivera said that would not hurt the chances of someone like Bersin making the roster.

“If you catch the ball, you catch the ball. And that’s what Bersin does,” Rivera said. “He’s very, very consistent. But there are other things he can do on special teams as well. I don’t think it hurts his chances because if we get into a tough situation and the wind’s blowing and we need someone to catch a punt, he can go back there and catch the punt. That’s not a problem.”

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