Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers receiver Kevin Norwood ‘ready to roll’

jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Needing receiver help in the preseason, the Panthers traded with Seattle to acquire Kevin Norwood.

Midway through the season, Norwood has played just one game.

The second-year receiver figures to be inactive for the seventh game this season on Sunday, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it’s simply a numbers game with him.

Norwood is behind Ted Ginn Jr., Philly Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Devin Funchess and Brenton Bersin on the depth chart, and the Panthers usually keep five receivers active on gameday with versatile Joe Webb as the emergency option.

“(Brenton) is the fifth guy right now,” Rivera said. “Kevin’s the sixth. Who knows? That may change next season or that may change this season. We just don’t know. But he is somebody we really do like.”

Rivera noted that a coach and player for the Seahawks approached him, unsolicited, and told him how much they thought of Norwood’s catching ability.

Norwood has had just one pass thrown his way in a game this season. The ball was tipped at the line but hit Norwood in the hands. He couldn’t hold onto it and it was intercepted by the Texans in Week 2.

In the meantime, Norwood has been studying the playbook and getting more involved in the offense during practice.

“He’s been learning the offense completely, and I think he’s now at the point where he knows it very, very well,” Rivera said. “That gives us confidence where if we have to play him, we’re ready to play him and he’ll be ready to roll.”

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