More bad news: Panthers lose Kugbila

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The worst news of the day for the Carolina Panthers may not have been that running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) would miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

They were preparing or that.

But they didn't plan to lose for the year fourth-round pick Edmund Kugbila, expected to at the very least provide much-needed depth on the offensive line.

Kugbila was placed on injured reserve after hamstring and knee issues forced Carolina's hand. Until then, as coach Ron Rivera said, he had shown flashes that had the team optimistic he would contribute either as a starter or backup at guard.

"Disappointed,'' Rivera said. "We're going to miss a good young football player who could help us like the other four guys are getting ready to help us."

The loss of Kugbila made the signing of free-agent guard Travelle Wharton on Sunday even bigger. What hasn't been replaced is the depth Kugbila would have provided.

Meanwhile, Carolina waived injured defensive tackle Frank Kearse and wide receiver Joe Adams. Along with placing Stewart on the physically unable to perform list, that got the roster to 75-player limit.