Carolina Panthers defensive back Colin Jones, who plays everything from safety to nickel corner to special teams ace, injured his groin worse than previously thought and planned to see a specialist this week, coach Ron Rivera said.
Jones, fifth-year player, has been one of Carolina’s most important pieces on special teams, and his versatility in the defensive backfield has helped the Panthers keep players at other positions.
“We have a couple guys battling for that backup (safety) position, so we’ll see,” Rivera said. “But it’s really going to be about whose role is going to improve on special teams. Colin was one of our aces. We need to find guys that can fill that role more than anything else.”
Kurt Coleman, Roman Harper and Tre Boston are the locks at safety. If Jones’ injury is as serious as the Panthers fear, the team could look to have Robert Lester or Marcus Ball on the 53-man roster.
Undrafted rookie Dean Marlowe seems destined for the practice squad, and the Panthers could always add a player who is cut this week as NFL teams trim their rosters.