Rashad Butler

Rashad Butler Update

Carolina created a roster spot, placing rookie tackle Rashad Butler on the reserve/non-football injury list. Butler, who has not played this season, has a staph infection.


Rashad Butler Update

Left tackle Travelle Wharton is out for the year with two torn ligaments in his left knee.

Wharton's injury, however, is more problematic for head coach John Fox. Carolina's offensive line didn't look so hot during the preseason and clearly struggled with Atlanta's pass rush. Now Fox has to retool this line and find a solution that will handle pass rushes from the Ravens, Steelers, Eagles, Redskins, even the Rams, which looks a lot stronger than last year, thanks to new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, the former Saints head coach who enjoyed several big wins over the Panthers in the last two years.

Expect both veteran tackle Todd Fordham and third-round draft pick Rashad Butler to see some action next week as Fox looks for a workable solution.


Butler still work in progress

He walked off the practice field Monday morning carrying the helmets of some of the veteran offensive linemen. This is Rashad Butler's role these days, and it's a far cry from when he was a star offensive tackle for the Miami Hurricanes.

"I love the role right now," said Butler, a rookie reserve for the Carolina Panthers. "But, eventually, I'm going to be ready to step out of that role and into another role."

A third-round draft pick in April, Butler is stuck behind
Travelle Wharton and Jordan Gross, who are firmly entrenched as the starters for this season. If one of them were to get injured in the near future, Todd Fordham likely would be the fill-in for the short term.

But the Panthers didn't draft Butler for the short term. It was well-known around the league at the draft that Butler might be a bit of a project. The consensus among scouts is that the 6-foot-4, 305-pounder needs to bulk up before he's ready to handle the NFL's elite pass rushers.

Rashad Butler Update

The big surprise might be third-round pick Rashad Butler, an offensive tackle from Miami who is anything but a sure thing.

Butler is a project, and he needs to get into the weight room and add lower body strength before the team thinks of putting him on the field to protect Jake Delhomme.

If the Panthers cut Butler it will mark the second straight season a first-day draft pick has failed to make the opening day roster. A year ago, defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison was the highest drafted NFL player (89th overall) to get cut.

Interestingly enough, Butler was drafted 89th overall this year.

In an ideal world the Panthers would probably like to cut Butler and sign him to the practice squad, but if they do they’ll run the risk of losing him to another team. So you never know, Butler could come down with one of those not-so-serious season-ending injuries — like struggling second-round draft pick Eric Shelton did a year ago — and be stashed away on injured reserve where nobody else in the league can touch him.


The Panthers like the potential of former University of Miami offensive tackle Rashad Butler, a rookie third-round pick, but he probably won't play this season unless there's an emergency.
The Panthers want Butler to add size and strength, making this essentially a redshirt year for him.