Ron Rivera is wasting no time throwing the Panthers' newest additions into the special teams fire: Running back Josh Vaughan and linebacker Kion Wilson, signed off the practice squad Wednesday, both will play special teams Sunday at Detroit.
The Panthers are looking for any kind of boost on a special teams unit that ranks at or near the bottom of several categories.
Wilson played special teams at San Diego, where Rivera was the defensive coordinator, for six games last year before injuring his ankle. Vaughan said he played a number of special teams when he was backing up Tim Hightower at Richmond.
The Panthers have allowed three punt returns for touchdowns this year, one away from tying an NFL record. The last one was a 79-yarder by the Titans' Marc Mariani, whose easily ran past punter Jason Baker, the last man with a shot to tackle him.
Rivera said he would have liked to have seen Baker make more of an effort on the play.
“But,” Rivera added, “he's a punter.”
As for injury updates...