ESPN Staff Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers will cut their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Here’s a projection:
QUARTERBACK (3): Cam Newton, Kyle Allen, Will Grier
It’s a little bit of a mess behind Newton. Allen and Grier have two of the lowest yards-per-attempt averages of any quarterback with at least 25 throws this preseason. Neither has generated much offensively or shown the capability of leading the team should Newton miss playing time. His mid-foot sprain in last Thursday’s exhibition loss to New England was a reminder of that, and might open the door to bringing in a veteran.
RUNNING BACK (3): Christian McCaffrey, Jordan Scarlett, Cameron Artis-Payne
Undrafted free agent Elijah Holyfield looks like the odd man out, with fifth-round draft pick Scarlett getting the edge. General managers don’t like to give up on draft picks this early. The real wild card might be Reggie Bonnafon, who spent last season on the practice squad and has impressed with his pass-catching during the preseason. His 10 receptions for 93 yards leads the team. It won’t be a huge surprise if he makes it.
FULLBACK (1): Alex Armah
His versatility as a blocker and receiver still makes this an obvious choice.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6): DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, Chris Hogan, Jarius Wright, Torrey Smith, Terry Godwin.
Godwin didn’t help his case by fumbling a punt against New England in the third preseason game. That’s his best chance to make the team as he’s yet to show he can contribute consistently as a receiver. If Carolina were to keep an additional back in Bonnafon, Godwin could be in danger.
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