The Panthers have made a change to their 53-man roster, according to Max Henson of Panthers.com, who writes that the team has signed cornerback James Dockery and placed tight end Richie Brockel on injured reserve.
Brockel, 28, has spent the last four seasons with the Panthers, and appeared in 36 offensive snaps this season before suffering an ankle injury in Week 4. While the move to IR doesn’t necessarily mean Brockel’s season is over, he’d have to be removed from the list with an injury settlement in order to sign elsewhere. If Brockel and the Panthers determine the injury is season-ending, he can remain on the team’s IR for 2014, and the club will have the opportunity to bring him back for the final year of his contract in 2015.
As for Dockery, who takes Brockel’s place on the roster, he’s another player who has spent plenty of time with the Panthers since 2011. The Oregon State alum figures to provide depth in Carolina’s secondary and perhaps contribute for the special teams unit as well. Josh Norman and Bene Benwikere both suffered injuries during Sunday’s game against the Bears, so adding a defensive back had been a priority for the team this week.