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Panthers place WR Damiere Byrd on injured reserve

Veteran depth in the slot is now a question

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have placed veteran wide receiver Damiere Byrd on the injured reserve list after a significant hamstring injury earlier in the preseason. The injury may require surgery.

This designation may well end Byrd’s second stint with the Panthers before it really begins. The 30-year old wide receiver signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and famously became a member of the unheralded group of aging or unheard of receivers that brought the team their best ever regular season record. He remained with the team through the 2018 season before spending time with the Arizona Cardinals, the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears, and the Atlanta Falcons.

Placing a player on injured reserve before final roster cuts effectively ends their seasons. The team continues to play a portion of their salary and provide medical and training services, but the player cannot be activated from injured reserve the way another player could be who was placed on IR after the start of the regular season.

The team can reach an injury settlement with Byrd that would release him from injured reserve and make him a free agent, but he could not then re-sign with the Panthers this season.

Byrd was expected to provide a significant veteran presence as a slot receiver and return man. Expect the team to be looking for another veteran to fill that role before the end of the preseason.