Heading into the final two preseason games, the Carolina Panthers have two all-or-nothing roster battles. Either Olindo Mare or Justin Medlock will win the kicking job, and the team is not likely to keep the other. Similarly, either Brad Nortman or Nick Harris will be the Panthers punter.
While the other positions on the roster doesn't have quite the same drama, there are several Carolina players who are fighting for a roster spot. Here's a look at three of the most recognizable:
- Thomas Davis (LB, 8th year, 56 starts for the Panthers) -- Davis won the Ed Block Courage Award last season, after battling back from his second torn right-knee ACL in as many years. Then he tore the ligament again. He's trying to become the first NFL player to return from three ACL tears in the same knee. If he makes it, he'll likely play a backup role, but there's a chance the team, or Davis, will decide this latest hurdle is just too tall to clear
- Armanti Edwards (WR, third year, no starts for the Panthers) – Former coach John Fox made Edwards a third-round draft pick in 2010, then converted the Appalachian State QB to WR. He only saw the field in three games as a rookie, and didn't impress the new administration last season. He's still waiting for his first NFL catch. Edwards has touched the ball 43 times in his NFL career and fumbled twice. With draft pick Joe Adams manning the kick and punt return spots, Edwards may find himself out of a job.
- Eric Norwood (DE, third year, no starts for the Panthers) – Another underachieving member of Fox's last draft class, Norwood was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He's produced one sack in 28 pro games. Norwood missed a week of practice in training camp, including the preseason game against Miami. Coach Ron Rivera may decide to replace Norwood with his own fourth-round pick —Frank Alexander.