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Panthers bringing in Donte Whitner for workout with injuries mounting at safety

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers will work out three-time Pro Bowl free safety Donte Whitner on Friday with injuries piling up at the position, a league source told ESPN.com.

The 31-year-old could add depth and experience to a secondary that has seen three backup safeties injured over the past several weeks.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported the visit.

Carolina shook up the safety position during the offseason, choosing not to re-sign veteran Roman Harper and moving starter Kurt Coleman from free to strong.

That left third-year player Tre Boston, with six career starts, as the starting free safety.

The Panthers had several backups they were high on until injuries. Fifth-year veteran Trenton Robinson was having a solid camp until suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery in last week’s exhibition against the Tennessee Titans.

Dean Marlowe and Marcus Ball also have been battling injuries. Marlowe has been out two weeks with a hamstring injury and Ball left the Titans game with an injury.

That left basically Colin Jones as the backup for both safety spots, which are somewhat interchangeable in Carolina’s defense.

Whitner was released by the Cleveland Browns in April as they restructured their roster. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2013 with the San Francisco 49ers and in 2014 at Cleveland.

He ranked second on the Browns in tackles last season with 81. He also had 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Panthers have turned to an older veteran for help in the secondary. They signed then-31-year-old Harper in 2014 and then-34-year-old cornerback Charles Tillman last season.