NFC South: Oliver Young

Today’s the day that rosters have to get cut down to 75 players. Aside from Tampa Bay booting running back Derrick Ward, we haven’t seen any other big names go down in the NFC South, but the news is just starting to trickle in.

In addition to Ward, the Bucs also released receiver Terrence Nunn and placed linebacker Jon Alston on injured reserve.

In Carolina, the biggest name to become a casualty was wide receiver Dexter Jackson. He was a second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2008 and was a total flop. After getting released by the Bucs last preseason, Jackson caught on with Carolina’s practice squad. The Panthers thought bringing the Appalachian State product home might give him a chance to revive his career. But he didn’t show much in training camp or the preseason.

The Panthers also placed linebacker Thomas Davis on the physically unable to perform list and waived/injured defensive end Hilee Taylor. Receiver Wallace Wright was placed on injured reserve and receiver Oliver Young was released.

No roster moves have been announced by Atlanta or New Orleans as of the moment.
Carolina receiver Steve Smith broke his left arm sometime over the weekend and there is a bit of discrepancy over the details. Smith’s agent has said the injury came during Smith’s annual youth camp. All the team will say is the injury happened during a flag football game.

No matter who Smith was playing with, this isn’t good news for the Panthers in any way. Their best player won’t be available for the start of training camp. All indications are Smith should be ready for the start of the regular season. But he’s going to miss some valuable practice time with quarterbacks Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen. That’s going to hurt Moore and Clausen more than it will Smith.

If you’re looking for some sort of bright spot, here’s a small one. Smith’s injury means the rest of the receivers will get more work in camp. That’s a good thing because the rest of the receiving corps needs all the work it can get.

Carolina drafted Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards and David Gettis this year. The Panthers also have Dwayne Jarrett, who’s been a bust since coming into the league. Other than that, the roster looks like this: Trent Guy, Dexter Jackson, Charly Martin, Kenneth Moore, Wallace Wright and Oliver Young.

Maybe the Panthers will go out and sign another receiver or two before camp, but don’t expect anything big from a team that’s not making any big moves right now. It’s more likely the Panthers will just throw all those young guys out there in camp and see who rises up.