The Carolina Panthers placed starting safety Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve Friday after he suffered his second concussion in five weeks.
The team has not yet made a corresponding move, so the roster sits at 52 players.
Searcy, 29, left the team’s preseason game against Miami on Aug. 17 and entered the concussion protocol. He then suffered a concussion against Atlanta on Sunday.
While Searcy is eligible to come off injured reserve after eight games, the Panthers’ experience dealing with concussions will likely mean they take extra precaution. Former starting left tackle Michael Oher suffered a career-ending concussion in 2016, and starting linebacker Luke Kuechly entered the concussion protocol three times in as many seasons, two because of confirmed concussions.
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Both defensive backs the Panthers signed in free agency this spring are on injured reserve. Cornerback Ross Cockrell suffered a double fracture to his leg during training camp. His injury was season-ending.
Rookie Rashaan Gaulden and veteran Colin Jones will split snaps at safety on Sunday against Cincinnati.
The Panthers could look into adding depth via a familiar name. Dezmen Southward and Jairus Byrd are both available free agents who know Carolina’s system.
Carolina could also consider looking into one of the most talented free agents still available to be signed, former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid.