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September 17, 2013

Panthers sign rookie S Robert Lester from practice squad

In need of a healthy body in the secondary, the Panthers signed undrafted rookie S Robert Lester from their practice squad on Tuesday after moving S Charles Godfrey (Achilles) to the injured reserve.

Lester signed with Carolina after going undrafted out of Alabama in April, and he turned heads during rookie camp in the spring. His production trailed off as the Panthers got to training camp, with Ron Rivera saying one week into camp that Lester was hitting an early rookie wall.

But the coaching staff liked Lester enough to keep him on the practice squad, and it’s possible that he’ll be active Sunday against the Giants.

“Some of the same things he did in college with an ability to find the football and make plays on the football when it’s in the air,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said about what he likes about Lester. “He did some of the same things in the preseason for us and we thought he got better as the weeks wore on and as he got more comfortable like any player, he’s going to show up and his true abilities are going to show up more with time.”

The Panthers secondary is in disarray after a flood of injuries against Buffalo. After injuries to Godfrey, S Quintin Mikell and DB D.J. Moore, the coaching staff considered moving Thomas Davis from linebacker to safety, a position he hadn’t played since his rookie season in 2005.

Mikell said Monday he planned to undergo further tests on his sprained ankle on Tuesday.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on September 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Permalink


Nothing new here. This player was not drafted for obvious reasons. Resigning Drayton Florence would have been a better move. He is a healthy body and nothing more so par for the course for Gettleman and Rivera and there will be no improvement in the play of the secondary.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Sep 17, 2013 12:51:59 PM

Kerry Rhodes, anyone????

Posted by: pnthrfan007 | Sep 17, 2013 1:00:26 PM

At this point the Panthers are just trying to backfill a hole. The O-line has bigger holes to fill and Sunday's game proved that once and for all. They'd better start looking to trade some of their running back talent and possibly Smitty for future draft picks if they want to fix this mess of a team. THANK Mr. Hurney for this.

Posted by: vinny_57 | Sep 17, 2013 1:02:40 PM

it's a lot easier to bring a guy up from practice squad as a rookie than it is to bring back a veteran off the couch.

I'm sure they've talked to florence's agent and are probably in wait and see mode to see how things shake out with thomas and moore injuries. we already know godfrey is gone for the year so the lester move makes more sense immediately. if moore and thomas will be fine after this next game, you hate to bring in a veteran for 1 game in a panic and have to pay him for the whole year after you are probably already paying him some form of a guarantee for his previous deal.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 17, 2013 1:03:43 PM

"Charlottean", you sound like Jerry Richardson, you have 13million you can spend, so you would rather save money rather than win? Go figure.

Posted by: Joe567 | Sep 17, 2013 1:42:38 PM

The Panthers continue to cheap out. They had a horrible offseason and got a series of non productive backups rather than upgrading our team. The only two exceptions are Star and Ginn.
You have Kerry Rhodes out there and Drayton Florence but they rather go the undrafted route.
I have been and remain highly unimpressed with Gettlemen. There needs to be a system wide cleansing.

Posted by: Rob K | Sep 17, 2013 1:49:56 PM

Vinny 57, what running back talent are you referring to? If you trade Smith then who do we have?
I don't trust Gettlemen at all. If you perform those trades and weaken our only strengths that we are even poorer.
This team has talent but just horrible leadershp.

Posted by: Rob K | Sep 17, 2013 1:51:40 PM

The Giants are going to sign Rhodes. Watch it bite us in the ass!

Posted by: Dennis B | Sep 17, 2013 2:09:37 PM

Who said Kerry Rhodes wants to sign with us?? Gahlee, nobody knows what he is thinking

Posted by: William Beasley | Sep 17, 2013 2:27:10 PM

Dang gone JUST WIN BABY!!!!! Beat the Giants for goodness sake so we all can finally have a reason to smile on football Sunday!!!!!

Posted by: The Three Degrees | Sep 17, 2013 2:40:37 PM

Joe567. There is a thing called the cap and signing everyone on a knee jerk gets you in cap trouble. Contracts stick around on those moves. Charlottean wasn't talking about being cheap he was saying you have time to see what the injuries are before signing players you may not need/ want. Think about bone headed moves like that when it comes time to re-sign Greg Hardy.

Posted by: adrcov | Sep 17, 2013 2:41:34 PM

doesn't really matter with mr no guts (and sorry fowler, guts when he played has zero correlation to guts as coach, how'd that work out for Singletary?) as coach...
see "thanks for not coaching"
"the definition of madness"
and no Smitty,
you should let Deangelo answer - he has a 5.2 yard per carry average and we needed less than a yard, there is a reason press box view works- why are 95% of co-ordinators in press box? vantage point - Smitty, every statisic with healthy and good D still screams go for it consistently ... whil every logic, blown losses, 3 years of losing, 2-14 in close games, and 3 starters out with injuries SCREAMS not jut go for it but manage all four downs differently when you know you are going to ... PS when you call out team-mates you should check the film, you had a key drop or didn't you watch the film?) (when coaches call out players, it means they are covering their own ass and have no character, another reason for Rivera to go, and NOW)

Posted by: encourage | Sep 17, 2013 3:24:29 PM

1 - they have a ton of cap room right now but are also looking at upcoming contract extensions they will need to spend it on.

2 - thank hurney for this? hurney left us with a REALLY GOOD roster that has lost 2 close games mostly due to coaching. just like it was last year and the year before. you guys sure love to blame hurney and before that it was fox, but their record while here was solid and when they lost - it was due to injuries.

hurney left us in such a mess that we now have over 17 million in cap space. but yea......that's "cap hell" for you.

and next year? we have olsen and godfrey getting restructured in addition to what ever we carry over from this year. the players on the roster are not the problem. the coordinators are not the problem. you can ARGUE that the QB has some of the blame, but there are plenty of QB's that play worse and win more.

rivera is the problem. he has been for 3 years.

bad teams get outplayed and lose by a lot. we outplay other teams and lose by a little. we were 12th in offense and 10th in offense last year. and finished tied for 17th.

this isn't complicated.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 17, 2013 4:02:45 PM

Panthers will end the regular season at 10 and 6 and lose in the first round of the playoff. Mark this comment.

Posted by: K. Smith | Sep 17, 2013 4:26:02 PM

^^^ they SHOULD, but I kind of don't want them to.....simply because that might keep rivera around longer. they would be 12-4 this year and last with john fox. or any other competent head coach.

as pointed out above in the grantland article......why didn't he call a timeout on that last play? 6 seconds left.........you saving timeouts ronaldo?

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 17, 2013 5:34:46 PM

K. Smith comments like that is why there's drug testing!..The NYG will make us 0-3 do you even watch the team play?

Posted by: TWIGGY | Sep 17, 2013 6:05:26 PM

Lester won't help Cam? He just can't be consistent ,and looks down his targets long enough you would think he could come even close to them sheesh!..Oh and the NYG are next oh my it's 0-3 Eli will have 500yds passing...42-13 NYG maybe worse!

Posted by: John Fox | Sep 17, 2013 6:08:43 PM

Clean house starting with the QB and head coach who are miserably awful Trade Cam for a 2nd round pick while he's still got value the NFL D-coordinators have figured the one trick pony and his high school offense out.

Posted by: Panthers1995 | Sep 17, 2013 6:10:30 PM

12-4/10-6 put down that Cam-aid there is no way this team is better than 6-10 sheesh!

Posted by: seenthisb4 | Sep 17, 2013 6:12:55 PM

Lester Hmm ,I'd say Eli will have career highs in passing yds & TD's!...Some of you Auburn fans are totally without reality about Cam and his "greatness" 13-21 that's GREAT!

Posted by: Soulja Boi | Sep 17, 2013 6:16:04 PM

Cam = Vince Young 2.0 with a worse winning percentage!

Posted by: QB | Sep 17, 2013 6:18:39 PM

I think the Panthers just need to relax and play football. Sure the injuries hurt but if our offense settles down and Cam rolls more out of the pocket to help the line the Panthers will be ok. I don't care what the record ends up being - I just want to see the team relaxed and playing better.

Posted by: Dom | Sep 17, 2013 6:43:37 PM

I don't even know why cam is mentioned at ALL. He had a good game the O put up 23 points. He threw for 229, 2 td's, 1 int. That could have been more if he was not sacked 6 times. This week 6 other nfl teams won that scored less then we did. I'm really confused as to what type of team we have. If its an offensive team fix o-line help and get some wr help. If its an defensive team which I thought it was during end of last season and preaseason it's clearly not after let rookie Qb drive down for winning td.

Posted by: Dada | Sep 17, 2013 6:50:16 PM

The problem with the Panther's lay with Rivera. There is no direction of this team in crucial situations,this is when the head coach should pull the team out of harms way but Rivera does not have the ability to do that,the record speaks for itself. It's time to get a head coach who knows how to handle all those situations that will and do come up in pro football.We will continue to fall apart at the last moment with Rivera as HC.

Posted by: officer jim | Sep 18, 2013 10:40:53 AM

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