Panthers cut QB Garrett Gilbert to keep three injured OL, sixth receiver

The Panthers kept receiver and special teams player Damiere Byrd on the 2018 roster. Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire

The Carolina Panthers cut 20 players and traded for one on Saturday and released 17 more on Friday, getting their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players.

The Panthers also placed outside linebacker Thomas Davis on the suspended list for the first four games. Here's a closer look at the final cuts:

Most significant move: The decision to keep three offensive linemen who will not be ready for the opener is significant. Starting left tackle Matt Kalil (knee), according to a league source, isn't expected to be ready for the Sept. 9 opener against Dallas and could miss several more games. Right tackle Daryl Williams (knee) and left guard Amini Silatolu (knee) also made the roster. Williams in particular was questionable for starting the season on injured reserve, which would have meant missing the first eight games. So keeping these three means they will be back sooner rather than later. But to supplement, the Panthers had to keep 10 offensive linemen, one more than normal. They traded a draft pick to Detroit for tackle Corey Robinson as insurance, but placed guard/tackle Jeremiah Sirles on injured reserve. Looks like Taylor Moton, who began training camp battling for the left guard spot, will be the opening day left tackle.

Gilbert gone; Byrd not: Not a surprise, but Garrett Gilbert went from the front-runner to be quarterback Cam Newton's backup to being released. Taylor Heinicke won the job as the Panthers opted to move on from veteran Derek Anderson during the offseason. Heinicke's mobility along with his experience in new coordinator Norv Turner's scheme when the two were at Minnesota gave him the edge. The Panthers also released fourth-stringer Kyle Allen, but don't be surprised if he lands on the practice squad. One of the reasons the Panthers went with two quarterbacks was the depth at wide receiver. They kept six, with Damiere Byrd slipping into a final roster spot. His speed can help the offense and special teams.

Hall decked: Carolina had high hopes for defensive end Daeshon Hall, a 2017 third-round pick out of Texas A&M. But Hall suffered a knee injury in last year's opener and became expendable because of increased depth with the play of 2018 fourth-round pick Marquis Haynes, 2017 undrafted free agent Bryan Cox Jr. and Efe Obada. That Obada made the roster is one of the best stories of camp. The Nigerian-born player was part of the international program last year and a roster exception. He had an excellent camp and made the roster on merit.

Panthers moves: Released: QB Garrett Gilbert; DE Daeshon Hall; WR Mose Frazier; S Dezmen Southward; DE Zach Moore; QB Kyle Allen; RB Reggie Bonnafon; WR Austin Duke; C Kyle Friend; G Taylor Hearn; G Dorian Johnson; TE Jason Vander Laan; DE Kiante Anderson; DT Kendrick Norton; CB Lorenzo Doss; CB Cole Luke; RB Kenjon Barner: WR Rasheed Bailey; DE Sterling Bailey; TE Evan Baylis; OT Adam Bisnowaty; LB Richie Brown; DB Alex Carter; OT Blaine Clausell; S Demetrious Cox; T Quinterrius Eatmon; LB Chris Frey; CB LaDarius Gunter; WR Bug Howard; G Norman Price: TE Jason Reese; TE Cam Serigne; DT Tracy Sprinkle. Injured reserve: RB Elijah Hood; OL Jeremiah Sirles; CB Kevon Seymour. Waived/Injured: RB Jamaal Jones.