The Carolina Panthers brought back former University of South Carolina speedster Damiere Byrd on Tuesday to the team’s practice squad. He was with the team throughout training camp but was cut in the final round of cuts prior to the season.
He was added to the practice squad but was released prior to last weekend so the team could add offensive tackle Piece Burton to the practice squad. This was when the team was very thin at offensive tackle with Nate Chandler placed on IR. The team released linebacker Brian Blechen from the practice squad to make room for Byrd.
The fact that the team released a linebacker to make room for a wide receiver could provide some insight to who will be playing, and who might not be on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery suffered a high ankle sprain last week against the Texans and while Ron Rivera was optimistic about his chances to be available this week, high ankle sprains are something that is tough to overcome quickly. The team does have a wide receiver with experience on the practice squad who has a similar skill set to Cotchery in Brenton Bersin.
Bersin, similar to Byrd, was one of the final cuts for the Panthers but he played a significant role for this team down the stretch last year. He could definitely fill in for the potentially absence of Cotchery in Week 3.
Byrd is a fast, speed wide receiver who had played well in the preseason finishing with six receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown in the second preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. He is a player who needs time to develop but certainly has potential to be a contributor down the road.
Follow me on Twitter @BrandonCroce.