The Carolina Panthers made a couple of bottom-of-the-roster moves Tuesday to add depth to two position groups nicked by injury.
The Panthers activated safety Robert Lester from the practice squad and re-signed guard Chris Scott to fill the vacancy on the taxi squad, the team announced. Both players were contributors on last season’s 12-win, division-winning team.
To make room for Lester on the 53-man roster, the Panthers cut linebacker D.J. Smith, a Charlotte native and former Appalachian State player.
Lester played in 12 games, with four starts, last season after signing as an undrafted free agent from Alabama. With injuries to cornerbacks Josh Norman (concussion) and Bené Benwikere (ankle), veteran Charles Godfrey took all of the snaps at nickel back last weekend at Cincinnati, leaving the Panthers thin at strong safety behind Roman Harper.
Rookie safety Tre Boston, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina, was active for the first time this season against the Bengals, but he played only special teams.
Scott started eight games at right guard in 2013 after joining the Panthers during training camp when he failed the conditioning test in Buffalo. Scott lost his starting spot near midseason after he sprained a knee ligament.
He was in the Panthers’ camp again this year but was one of the final roster cuts when the team decided to keep undrafted rookie linemen David Foucault and Andrew Norwell.
With starting left guard Amini Silatolu’s status in question this weekend with a calf injury, Scott provides experienced depth at guard, if he’s in shape. Fernando Velasco played 79 of 84 snaps in the overtime tie with the Bengals after Silatolu left in the first quarter.