Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has yet to retire, but he still didn’t show up for the first day of training camp.
Martin did not file his retirement paperwork by 4 p.m. Thursday and he was placed on the reserve/did not report list for the Panthers.
Through his agent earlier this week, Martin, 25, announces his plans to retire after suffering a back injury during a July workout that may have required surgery or, at the least, rehab.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman admitted the news of his impending retirement came as a surprise since Martin had planned to be the primary backup for starting left tackle Michael Oher.
“Jonathan had a good spring and we were looking forward to his return and we’ll just keep moving on,” Gettleman said. “That’s what we do.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera had praised Martin’s performance in summer workouts, but he didn’t know exactly when the injury occurred.
“I do know this: He had a good OTAs and good minicamp,” Rivera said. “You heard me talk about him specifically. It’s a tough break. Any time a doctor says hey you may have to have surgery, I think that opens up eyes.”
The Panthers signed two offensive tackles, Tony Hills and Devonte Wallace, after the Martin news. Hills has been on eight teams since coming into the league in 2008; Wallace was an undrafted rookie last year who spent time with the Dolphins.
Rivera also plans to work Nate Chandler, Amini Silatolu and Daryl Williams at left tackle. Chandler is still returning from knee surgery and will be eased into camp. Silatolu is primarily a guard but flirted with the tackle position last year. And Williams, a rookie, spent nearly his entire collegiate career and summer workouts at right tackle.