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Carolina Panthers trim roster to mandatory 53 players with a few surprises

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield standing on sideline watching the final quarter of the game
Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield standing on sideline watching the final quarter of the game

Thursday saw the Carolina Panthers’ roster quickly drop from the 80 players they cut down to a week ago to the 53-man limit required by the NFL. There were a reported 27 transaction to reach that limit.

There were many expected cuts and a few surprise names on the list of players that exited the facility today including wide out and special teams player Bryan Zylstra who appeared in 14 games last season making 18 receptions for 250 receiving yards and one touchdown. But with the recent addition of Laviska Shenault, the receiver corps is packed with explosive talent. Another was kicker Zane Gonzalez who was placed on injured reserve. Gonzalez suffered a groin injury during the final preseason game that will require a lengthy healing process.

Many of the following were the most expected cuts to reduce the roster total.

- K Zane Gonzalez (injured reserve)

- RB Spencer Brown (waived-injured)

- RB John Lovett

- WR Brandon Zylstra

- WR Keith Kirkwood

- WR Derek Wright

- WR C.J. Saunders

- WR Charleston Rambo

- WR Ra'Shaun Henry

- TE Colin Thompson

- TE Josh Babicz

- OL Deonte Brown

- OL Mike Horton

- OL Sam Tecklenburg

- DE Austin Larkin

- DE Drew Jordan

- DE Darryl Johnson

- DT Frank Herron

- LB Julian Stanford (injured reserve)

- LB Josh Watson

- LB Arron Mosby

- LB Isaiah Graham-Mobley (waived-injured)

- CB Tae Hayes

- CB Kalon Barnes

- CB Madre Harper

- S Kenny Robinson

- S Juston Burris

Some of the players released on Tuesday will likely be back in some role with the practice squad which can hold 16 players.

Those fortunate enough to be on the regular roster to start the season will begin preparing for week one opponent and former home of starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns.

FINAL 53-man roster



Baker Mayfield,

PJ Walker

Sam Darnold (injured reserve)

Running Backs:

Christian McCaffrey

D'Onta Foreman

Tight Ends:

Ian Thomas

Tommy Tremble

Giovanni Ricci

Stephen Sullivan


DJ Moore

Robbie Anderson

Laviska Shenault Jr.

Terrace Marshall Jr.

Shi Smith

Rashard Higgins

Andre Roberts

Offensive Line:

Ikem Ekwonu

Brady Christensen

Pat Elflein

Austin Corbett

Taylor Moton

Bradley Bozeman

Cameron Erving

Michael Jordan

Cade Mays


Defensive Lineman:

Brian Burns

Yetur Gross-Matos

Marquis Haynes Sr.

Amaré Barno

Derrick Brown

Matt Ioannidis

Bravvion Roy

Daviyon Nixon

Phil Hoskins

Marquan McCall


Shaq Thompson

Damien Wilson

Frankie Luvu

Cory Littleton

Brandon Smith

Defensive Backs:

Jaycee Horn

Donte Jackson

CJ Henderson

Keith Taylor Jr.

Stantley Thomas-Oliver III

Jeremy Chinn

Xavier Woods

Myles Hartsfield

Sam Franklin Jr.

Sean Chandler

Special Teams:

PK - Johnny Hekker

LS - JJ Jansen

K - TBD*

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