Carolina Panthers cut CB Bené Benwikere, promote Zack Sanchez - | WBTV Charlotte

Carolina Panthers cut CB Bené Benwikere, promote Zack Sanchez

The Carolina Panthers have promoted cornerback Zack Sanchez from the practice squad (Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer) The Carolina Panthers have promoted cornerback Zack Sanchez from the practice squad (Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer)
CHARLOTTE, NC (Joseph Person/The Charlotte Observer) -

While it didn’t match the Josh Norman bombshell from last spring, the release of Bené Benwikere on Friday was another hit to the Carolina Panthers’ cornerback rotation.

Benwikere was released five days after he was burned repeatedly by Falcons wideout Julio Jones in Atlanta’s 48-33 win.

Benwikere might have complicated matters by telling reporters after the game he needed to work on his conditioning.

The Panthers have signed rookie corner Zack Sanchez from the practice squad, according to a source.

Sanchez joins a corner group that was already missing second-round pick James Bradberry, who has been out all week with turf toe and not expected to play in Monday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

Now the Panthers will be without Benwikere, who gave up 228 of Jones’ 300-yard receiving total last week, according to Pro Football Focus. It was the sixth-highest receiving yardage in NFL history.

Benwikere told the Observer on Wednesday he was no longer taking first-team reps, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera said there was an open competition at corner.

But that competition won’t include Benwikere, who broke his ankle late last season and opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Meanwhile, a former Carolina cornerback questioned the Panthers’ heart.

Captain Munnerlyn, now with Minnesota, told the Sporting News that he knew the Vikings were in good shape once they claimed the lead against Carolina in a 22-10 victory in Week 2.

“When we took the lead ... I know those guys. I knew it was over,” Munnerlyn told the Sporting News. “I’ve been in that locker room before so I knew. Those guys really don’t play well when they are down.”

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