Inside the Panthers

Former Pro Bowl S Donte Whitner will work out with Panthers this weekend

San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) celebrates the stopping of the Carolina Panthers offense on the goal line during the first half of a divisional playoff NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) celebrates the stopping of the Carolina Panthers offense on the goal line during the first half of a divisional playoff NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) AP

With injuries sidelined most of Carolina’s reserve safeties, the Panthers plan to work out former Pro Bowl safety Donte Whitner this weekend, according to a team source.

Whitner, a free agent who went to the Pro Bowl three times between 2012 and 2014, comes to Charlotte as no immediate threat to starting safeties Tre Boston and Kurt Coleman.

News of the visit was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Panthers have seen three of their top four reserve safeties battle injury recently. Dean Marlowe, a second-year safety, has been out for more than two weeks with a hamstring injury that may be worse than suspected.

Marcus Ball left last week’s exhibition against the Titans with an injury, and Trenton Robinson had surgery on his pec earlier in the week.

Carolina was so desperate for healthy safeties that, at one point against the Titans, the Panthers used rookie cornerback Daryl Worley at safety.

Whitner has 10 years in the league and 11 interceptions after playing mostly strong safety. After five years in Buffalo, he starred with the 49ers for three seasons and went to two Pro Bowls.

In 2014, Whitner signed a four-year deal with the Browns worth $28 million. He went to the Pro Bowl in his first season in Cleveland, but he was cut after his second year when he came up with zero interceptions for the first time since 2008.

Whitner, who once tried to legally change his last name to Hitner, went to Glenville High and Ohio State with current Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

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