The Carolina Panthers starting free safety Charles Godfrey is out for the rest of the season with an injured right Achilles that occurred in week two against the Buffalo Bills. The Injury to Godfrey happened in the third quarter when he was diving to break up a pass that was intended for the Bills receiver Stevie Johnson. With Godfrey now out for the season, the Panthers organization had to make quick decisions to fill that empty spot in the secondary.
Another major concern is the two injuries that occurred to the Panthers’ secondary in the cornerback spot. According to their injury report, both corner backs D.J. Moore and Josh Thomas are listed as out for this upcoming home game against the New York Giants.
The Panthers have now made veteran Mike Mitchell the starting free safety. This five-year veteran started his career with the Oakland Raiders in 2009, and this is his first season with the Panthers. As a backup. the Panthers also signed rookie safety Robert Lester from the practice squad to help out with the depth at the safety position. Lester played college ball at the University of Alabama and started 40 out of 48 games there. He is another youthful prospect the Panthers will rely heavily on if called into action due to more injuries.
The Panthers respond to the multiple injuries at the cornerback position by signing free agent Drayton Florence. He actually played all four preseason games with the Panthers before he was released, only to get re-signed this past Thursday. Many fans thought releasing Florence in the first place was a big mistake. He brings leadership and experience to a very young secondary. Now he has a shot at redemption to show he still has game.
Mitchell, Lester and Florence will have to quickly adjust to the situation and step up and make big plays on defense. The Panthers already have little depth to their secondary and their injuries aren’t helping. Expect the defense to struggle against Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense in week three. However, don’t count them out because this Manning brother is also leading the league with seven thrown interceptions.