The Carolina Panthers made it a point to bolster their offensive tackle position and prior to training camp felt they achieved that with four tackles who had starting experience. Well the depth at the position is almost completely gone with Jonathan Martin retiring prior to training camp and the team placing Nate Chandler on injured reserve today. The team brought back guard Fernando Velasco, who was with the Panthers last year.
This is the second season that Chandler has had his season cut short due to a knee injury. Last year he started the year as the team’s starting right tackle but lost that job due to the knee injury and the strong play of Mike Remmers.
The Panthers will now be looking to Amini Silatolu to be the team’s primary backup at the offensive tackle position, until rookie Daryl Williams is able to return. When Chandler went down with the knee injury last year, Silatolu was considered an option to replace him but he suffered his own knee injury and was forced to sit out the remainder of the season.
There was not many options for offensive tackles on the open market so the organization opted to bring back a familiar face in Fernando Velasco. According to Pro Football Focus, Velasco started seven games for the Panthers last year at right guard when rookie Trai Turner was out. This is the sixth season for the former Georgia Bulldog and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans prior to joining the Panthers in 2014.
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