The Panthers made their first cuts and settled their preseason kicking and punting battles. By the end of the week, another 22 players will be sent packing.
Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 and those who we think may soon be seeking alternative employment.
Stock falling: WR Seyi Ajirotutu has a chance to unseat little-used Armanti Edwards for a roster spot, but he was thrown to three times in the Jets game and didn’t catch any of them. RB DeAngelo Williams isn’t in danger of losing a roster spot, but he had a miscommunication with QB Cam Newton on the first play of the game, fumbled the second and dropped a pass over the middle later in the first quarter.
QB -- In: (3) Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Clausen. Out: Nobody. Analysis: Unchanged from last week’s projection. Clausen didn’t get into the game against the Jets until 6:18 remained in the fourth, but it’s still a long shot that the Panthers would cut him and go with two quarterbacks.
RB -- In: (3) Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert (FB). Out: Tauren Poole, Armond Smith. Analysis: Injuries may scramble this picture slightly. Stewart and Tolbert both left the Jets game with injuries, and Poole missed his second straight game with a concussion. If Stewart has trouble getting back onto the field, the team might keep Smith at the start of the season.
WR -- In: (6) Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Joe Adams, Kealoha Pilares, Louis Murphy. (David Gettis, PUP) Out: Armanti Edwards, Lamont Bryant, Jared Green, Seyi Ajirotutu. Analysis: Edwards barely played in the Jets game and got moved to our cut list. None of the projected WR cuts have done enough to take Edwards’ spot. We’re projecting that the Panthers will keep an extra tight end, at least until Tolbert proves to be at full strength.
TE -- In: (3) Greg Olsen, Ben Hartsock, Richie Brockel, Gary Barnidge. Out: Joe Jon Finley, Nelson Rosario. Analysis: Barnidge had a 43-yard catch and a one-yard touchdown against the Jets and that will earn him a roster spot.
OL -- In (9): Ryan Kalil, Geoff Hangartner, Amini Silatolu, Jordan Gross, Byron Bell, Bruce Campbell, Garry Williams, Bryant Browning, Jeff Byers. Out: Justin Wells, Mike Pollak, Zack Williams, Matt Reynolds. Analysis: Byers is back on the "In" list since the Scott Mruczkowski experiment lasted less than a week.
DL -- In (9): Charles Johnson, Ron Edwards, Greg Hardy, Sione Fua, Frank Alexander, Antwan Applewhite, Frank Kearse, Terrell McClain, Thomas Keiser (Andre Neblett, suspended). Out: Nate Chandler, Ryan Van Bergen, Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Analysis: Chandler had three tackles and one tackle for a loss against the Jets. He’s been solid, but there’s not much room for him on the roster.
LB -- In (8): Jon Beason, Luke Kuechly, James Anderson, Jason Phillips, Jordan Senn, Jason Williams, Thomas Davis, Kenny Onatolu. Out. David Nixon, Kion Wilson. Analysis: Nixon had three tackles and a pass break-up, but that’s probably not enough to move him.
DBs -- In (9): Chris Gamble, Captain Munnerlyn, R.J. Stanford, Josh Norman, Charles Godfrey, Sherrod Martin, Haruki Nakamura, Jordan Pugh, Josh Thomas (Brandon Hogan IR). Out: Darius Butler, Reggie Smith, D.J. Campbell, Jonathan Nelson. Analysis: Butler didn’t play against the Jets, although there was no notification about any injury. That’s not a good sign. Thomas and Smith both put in time on special teams. Smith had an interception, but Thomas plays Butler’s position, so he'll get the spot.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Carolina Panthers from blogger Shawn Krest, follow@CBSSportsNFLCAR.