Josh Hawkins is back in the NFL. ESPN’s David Newton reports (via Twitter) that the Panthers have promoted the cornerback from their practice squad to the active roster. Hawkins will be taking the spot that opened up after the team placed safety Da’Norris Searcy on the injured reserve yesterday.
After going undrafted out of East Carolina during the 2016 draft, Hawkins proceeded to spend the next two seasons with the Packers. The 5-foot-10, 189-pound cornerback ended up making a name for himself in Green Bay, appearing in 26 games over his two years with the organization. That included a standout 2017 campaign where he compiled 38 tackles, six passes defended, and one forced fumble in 15 games (three starts).
Despite his breakout campaign, the Packers waived the 25-year-old prior to the regular season. The cornerback quickly caught on with the Panthers practice squad, where he’s spent the first two weeks of the season.
The Panthers’ defensive back depth has been depleted due to injury, with cornerbacks Ross Cockrell and Kevon Seymour sitting on the injured reserve (along with Searcy and safety Damian Parms). Hawkins will initially be placed on the bottom of the cornerback depth chart, but he could see playing time if any of Donte Jackson, James Bradberry, Captain Munnerlyn, Corn Elder, or Lorenzo Doss go down with injuries.
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