It has been a rough off-season for Andre Neblett. Not only did the Panthers' defensive tackle get suspended for four games after testing positive for a banned substance, but he was also hospitalized in August with high blood pressure. Now though, it seems Neblett is ready to return, but the question is will the Panthers want him?
As the Charlotte Observer's Joe Person stated today via Twitter, there is a one week roster exemption on Neblett where the Panthers can observe him, have him practice, and make a determination on whether he'll remain on the team. That decision will need to be made by next Monday.
When Neblett was slapped with his suspension it seemed clear the Panthers would save a roster spot for the player who was arguably the Panthers' best defensive tackle in 2011, however now that's not so clear. Ron Edwards has held the middle well, and the production from the under-tackle spot from Dwan Edwards was unexpected. Now the complication at defensive tackle is compounded by Greg Hardy, who looked excellent playing on 3rd down– the role Neblett had last year.
Given the state of the secondary a strong argument could be made to cut ties with someone else as well as Neblett, finding another defensive back to bolster the defense, although realistically that is a lot easier said than done.