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Horn and Thomas designated to return from IR

Potential keys to the offense and defense set to return

Carolina Panther vs New York Giants Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers are finally getting healthier faster than they are getting hurt. Cornerback Jaycee Horn (hamstring) and tight end Ian Thomas (calf) have been designated to return from injured reserve this week.

Horn has been absent since the season opener, while Thomas was injured in practice in Week 6 before the Miami Dolphins game.

The return of Jaycee Horn is fantastic news as the defense, in particular, has suffered a series of losses across the season with only a few players actually returning to the field. Donte Jackson and C.J. Henderson proved to be an adequate pair of corners, but the lack of depth exposed the unit down the stretch of every game.

Thomas, meanwhile, has drawn the ire of fans for years for under producing his contract but returns now to an offense where his contributions could be immeasurable. He is usually more of a run blocking tight end, but there is room for him to help in pass blocking and as a receiver. The sky is truly the limit, if only because the offense has nowhere to go but up.

The team has already released former practice squad safety Matthias Farley and tight end Jordan Matthews in expectation of adding both Horn and Thomas back to the regular roster in time for Sunday’s slaughter game against the Dallas Cowboys.