Though Lester was regarded as one of the best UDFAs available after the draft he failed to shine at TC or the preseason. Regardless the Panthers saw enough to keep him around and now he's at the show. So can he handle it?
Panthers sign S Lester off practice squad
"He's a smart, sharp individual who played in a very good system at Alabama," Rivera said during Lester's tough stretch at training camp. "This isn't too big for him."
Due to his size and speed, or lack there of, Lester is pretty much a SS only, which still leaves Colin Jones as on the only true FS not on IR. Ahhh...but do not dispair, the Panthers have a plan:
The best-case scenario at safety in Week 3 versus the New York Giants would be for Mitchell and Mikell to be healthy enough to play, though both have been working at strong safety since joining the Panthers. Mikell, who signed with the Panthers on Sept. 2, did start 23 games at free safety in additon to nine at strong safety for the St. Louis Rams the last two seasons.
"Mike (Mitchell) has been here longer than Q (Mikell) has, but Q has more experience playing in the NFL and has played free safety before," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "And again, we'll just have to see who's healthy."
So if Mickell can go he would play FS but that is a but 'if' as Mickell was unable to finish the Bills game and will probably miss practice time this week. The Wednesday injury report is due out later today.
I know Colin Jones is an unknown quantity at FS but otherwise we have to move Mitchell out there which seems a worse scenario or we hope DJ Moore could fill in. I'm thinking it's better to play the guy that knows the position (Jones) even if he is a 2nd tier athlete. Facing Hicks and Cruz Sunday doesn't make the decision for the Panthers any easier.
On another note in the secondary, our other UDFA CB Melvin White has a chance to start as well. You always expect these guys to contribute at some point, you just hope its later in the season instead of week 3.