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NFL roster news: Panthers sign former 49ers OT John Theus, place CB Cole Luke on injured reserve

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The Panthers made a few roster moves today.

The Carolina Panthers have placed cornerback Cole Luke on injured reserve to make space for a new signing. According to the team’s official Twitter account, that signing is former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle John Theus.

Luke missed last week’s game against the 49ers due to his ankle injury, and apparently it’s bad enough that the coaches don’t feel they can wait around for him to heal. This probably explains their decision to sign cornerback Ladarius Gunter yesterday.

Luke is eligible to come off of injured reserve after eight weeks if the Panthers would like to bring him back onto the roster. Since the Panthers only have two of those “designated to return” spots available, it’s unlikely they will use one of them on Luke.

John Theus — Luke’s replacement on the 53-man roster — went to college at Georgia and was drafted in the 5th round (No. 146 overall) by the 49ers in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in the final four games of the 2016 season.

Here’s some info on Theus’s college career, from


Played in 53 games (48 starts) for the Bulldogs. As a senior, started all 13 games and was voted the Bulldogs overall team captain and also won one of four Coaches’ Leadership Awards.Also earned First-Team All-SEC honors. In 2014, started all 13 games and earned AP Honorable Mention All-SEC honors as the [offense] led the SEC in rushing (257.8 yds per game). As a sophomore, played in 13 games (8 starts) and was part of an offense that ranked 2nd in the SEC in passing. In 2012, was named to The Sporting News All-America Freshman Team. Started all 14 games and became just the third true freshman to start at tackle in a season opener for Georgia since freshmen became eligible in 1973. Also named to the SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll.

In other news, Harrison Butker has replaced Eric Crume on the practice squad. Yes, they really did that. No, I don’t understand it either.