Panthers Sign Robert Lester, Cut D.J. Smith

The Panthers have made changes today to both their 53-man roster and their practice squad, the team announced in a press release. According to the club, safety Robert Lester has been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster, linebacker D.J. Smith has been waived from the roster, and guard Chris Scott has been signed to the taxi squad.

Lester, 26, appeared in 12 contests for the Panthers a year ago, starting four of those games. He played reasonably well when he saw the field, contributing three interceptions and recovering a fumble, but so far this season he had been relegated to the practice squad.

Scott, Lester’s replacement on the practice squad, is also a familiar face in Carolina, having started eight games for the club last season. He was cut in August this year when the Panthers trimmed their roster down to 53 players.

As Bryan Strickland of notes in the team’s press release, the Panthers have relied heavily on their nickel package lately, often playing five defensive backs and two linebackers. As such, adding Lester, who can also contribute on special teams, at the expensive of a linebacker makes some sense, regardless of Carolina’s injury situation.

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