Sanchez (groin) was placed on injured reserve Friday, Joe Person of the Charolotte Observer reports.
Sanchez, a fifth-rounder out of Oklahoma, was promoted to the active roster in early October and appeared in five games for the Panthers this season. He'll finish his rookie campaign with nine tackles but no other defensive statistics.
Sanchez was selected in the fifth round of this year's draft, but fell to the Panthers' practice squad following the preseason. However, the team's secondary was shredded to the tune of more than 500 passing yards last weekend, resulting in the release of cornerback Bene Benwikere and the rise of Sanchez to Carolina's active roster. Best suited for an inside position, Sanchez figures to occupy some of the same roles Benwikere filled prior to his release.
The Panthers opted to release
The rookie is the first player drafted by general manager Dave Gettleman to not make the team even though he was in good health. Rookie corners James Bradberry and Dryl Worley were also drafted by the Panthers, and immediately assumed starting roles with the squad as it looked to replace star Josh Norman. Sanchez simply appears to be the odd man out.
The Carolina Panthers selected Zack Sanchez in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, 141st overall.
Sanchez is a light corner (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) who doesn't press much and can give up some big plays, but he also has good ball skills for a corner and could prove a ballhawking threat, especially for a team with a pass rush as good as Carolina's.