Panthers' secondary unsettled after losing Zack Sanchez, Teddy Williams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Not everything is as you first see it in a football game.

Take, for example, some of the plays that Carolina Panthers cornerback Daryl Worley appeared to be beaten on in the second and third preseason games.

“Well, the way it may have looked on the TV copy is not the way it may look in our room," Worley said on Friday at the Charlotte Touchdown Club. “You guys don’t know the play calls that come in. There could have been a position where I was just helping and was close to the guy.

“It was nowhere near my fault."

But what is as it seems is the Panthers need backup help in the secondary, particularly at cornerback, as they narrow the roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.

Zack Sanchez had one of those spots before reaggravating a groin injury in Thursday night’s preseason finale -- an injury that prematurely ended his 2016 rookie season. He was released on Friday.

The other backup, Teddy Williams, suffered a shoulder injury in the 17-14 loss and was placed on injured reserve.

Behind starters James Bradberry and Worley are now Captain Munnerlyn and undrafted rookie Cole Luke, who prior to the injuries was a long shot to make the roster. But Munnerlyn also is the nickel corner, so you can see why this is an issue.

Fifth-round pick Corn Elder would have been an option, but he has missed most of the preseason with a knee injury.

So as stable as the starting secondary is, the backup situation is tenuous. Look for the Panthers to pick up help after cuts or possibly even make a trade if the right player is available.

The Panthers also are looking for backup help at safety behind free safety Kurt Coleman and strong safety Mike Adams. Colin Jones is solid, but after him they have journeyman Dezmen Southward, who hasn’t been on a roster since Atlanta in 2015.

“I don’t know who’s going to be behind us," Munnerlyn said of the starting secondary. “But at the same time I feel like we are very stable."