Panthers re-tool practice squad, make one curious decision

This morning the Indianapolis Colts continued their floundering changes claiming Jermale Hines off the Carolina Panthers practice squad and adding him to their 53 man roster. This represents no loss for the Panthers as Hines only saw the field in one game this year on special teams and was utterly terrible. He never ended up being a gunner they hoped he would become so he was relegated to the practice squad.

To fill Hines' place the Panthers signed LB Phillip Dillard, formerly of the NY Giants. The 24 year old linebacker had 4 tackles in 7 games for the 2010 Giants and given they already have an extremely beleaguered set of linebackers in NY the fact the G-men waived him earlier this season gives you an idea of his ceiling. He'll get a shot, but expect no impact.

Ron Rivera and company weren't done though as they made another rather curious decision, and we'll look at that...

After the jump

Veteran tackle Reggie Wells was brought to Carolina in the wake of the Jeff Otah injury as the coaching staff looked to piece together an offensive line. The emergence of Byron Bell made this need obsolete so there's little curiosity on why they cut him today. In his place they elected to sign a running back, and if the writing wasn't already on the wall for Mike Goodson, then consider it very much in place now.

Kory Sheets out of Purdue went undrafted in 2009 and after playing for both the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins he's found his way onto the Panthers' practice squad. I find this most strange because if you're a coaching staff with two stud RBs, another you seem to like in Josh Vaughan and you have Mike Goodson returning from IR in 2012 then why bring in yet another RB?

The answer is simple- you don't. There seems to be clear motivation on the part of the coaching staff to at least get long looks at other running backs so they can evaluate in the off-season and decide who to keep. With Goodson seemingly losing his KR job to Kealoha Pilares permanently there are big questions about what his role for the Panthers would be, and only time will tell us that.

Sheets only has one carry in the NFL, so here are his career stats from Purdue

RUSHING STATS
YEAR TEAM ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
2005 104 571 5.5 88 10
2006 158 780 4.9 30 11
2007 168 859 5.1 59 11
2008 234 1131 4.8 80 16
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