Even after crafting their active 53-man roster, the Carolina Panthers have been trying to nail down a returner on special teams, at least for Week 1. Well, they may be getting closer to doing so.
As reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the team brought veteran wideout Alex Erickson in for a visit on Friday. Erickson spent each of his five professional seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he served primarily on punt and kick return duties.
Some late week tryouts/visits:
* Seahawks worked out LB Daren Bates and LB Kamal Martin
* Panthers hosted WR Alex Erickson on a visit
* Jets worked out S Adrian Colbert
* Colts worked out S Steven Parker
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 3, 2021
The six-foot, 195-pounder brings in a wealth of experience in this aspect, something no member on the Panthers’ current roster can come close to laying claim to. He’s fielded a total of 135 punts and 108 kickoffs since 2016, averaging 8.0 yards and 24.7 yards, respectively, on his attempts.
Carolina’s current favorites for the jobs include fourth-year receiver Brandon Zylstra and rookies Shi Smith and C.J. Saunders. Zylstra, however, has only returned five punts in his career. Additionally, Smith is nursing a shoulder injury that may keep him out for a bit while Saunders remains down on the practice squad.
Erickson, undoubtedly, would take over the honors if he’s signed.
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