Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
The Carolina Panthers, a team usually very hesitant to make trades, has made one. It’s a desperation effort to solidify the middle of their patchwork defensive line and, by extension, help the rest of a struggling defense.
Carolina’s deal with Kansas City for defensive tackle Tank Tyler, comes before tomorrow’s trading deadline. Tyler, a North Carolina State product, was in his third season with the Chiefs. Not known as a pass-rusher (Tyler doesn’t have a career sack), he has played the run well. The Panthers parted with a fifth-round draft pick in 2010 to get Tyler.
He had 41 tackles while starting all 16 games last season and has 22 tackles so far this season.
The Panthers have struggled to find a decent replacement since Maake Kemoeatu went down with a season-ending injury on the first day of training camp. They’ve gone through other injuries at the position and tried several candidates that haven’t worked out.
Nick Hayden has been starting in Kemoeatu’s place next to Damione Lewis. It’s likely Tyler will step right in as no worse than the third member of the rotation and could challenge for a starting job before long. The Panthers also have recently added veteran Hollis Thomas, another run-stuffer.