Coming out of their bye week, the Panthers have made a number of injury-related moves. The team announced on Tuesday that safety Jeremy Chinn and pass rusher Yetur Gross-Matos have been placed on injured reserve. The same is true of tight end/special teamer Giovanni Ricci.
As a result of the move, all three players will be forced to miss at least four weeks. In Chinn’s case, a quadriceps injury is expected to keep him sidelined for longer than that, so today’s move comes as no surprise. The 25-year-old is in the final year of his contract, but the injury likely took him off the board with respect to trade interest from outside teams.
Gross-Matos is dealing with a hamstring injury which has been deemed serious enough to interrupt an encouraging season. The former second-rounder has posted 2.5 sacks through six games, only one short of matching his career high. He has added three tackles for loss and six quarterback pressures despite seeing a drop in playing time compared to last year. Starters Brian Burns and Justin Houston will be counted on more heavily in the edge department given Gross-Matos’ absence. Ricci has a shoulder injury, per ESPN’s David Newton.
In more positive news, the Panthers activated guard Austin Corbett from the PUP list. This marked the final week of his 21-day return window, so today’s move was needed to avoid having him revert to season-ending IR. The 28-year-old suffered an ACL tear in Week 18 last year, and has been rehabbing ever since. His return will be welcomed on an offensive line which has used three different starters at both left and right guard this season. Corbett indicated (via Newton) that he may not suit up for Week 8 despite being brought back onto the roster. That move will did use up any of Carolina’s seven remaining IR activations, but bringing back Chinn, Gross-Matos and Ricci will.
To fill the other roster spots opened up by the IR moves, the Panthers have signed edge rusher Luiji Vilain off the Vikings’ practice squad. The 25-year-old Canadian has made four regular season appearances since signing in Minnesota as a UDFA. Likewise, Carolina has added offensive lineman Brett Toth from the Eagles’ taxi squad. The latter has made one start across his 17 total games played, all with Philadelphia.