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Scrambling for secondary help, Panthers sign Florence

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Ten-year veteran cornerback Drayton Florence re-signed with the Carolina Panthers, who have been thinned by injuries in the secondary.

Florence signed with the Panthers in March and was released in September during final roster cuts.

"He is a very instinctive and smart player, there isn't much he hasn't seen," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said of Florence in March. "He still has his speed, he's still explosive. He's a heavy-hitter when he tackles and he has the skills we were looking for. He's a mature guy and he's going to help our young defensive backs learn."

Some of those young defensive backs remain on the mend.

Safety Robert Lester was elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The undrafted rookie may start in the Panthers' banged-up secondary Sunday against the New York Giants. Starting free safety Charles Godfrey (Achilles) went on injured reserve Monday.

The injury list made for a lot of echoes in an empty defensive back room at the team facility Wednesday.

Cornerback D.J. Moore said an MCL sprain he suffered against the Bills will keep him out for the Giants game. Cornerback Josh Thomas, who suffered a concussion against the Bills, didn't practice Wednesday, but he does expect to play versus the Giants.

Cornerback Josh Norman, who injured his knee and thigh against the Bills, didn't practice Wednesday and he is a long-shot to play Sunday.

The Panthers could gain one player at the position. James Dockery, who missed the first two games after undergoing thumb surgery in the preseason, was limited at Wednesday's practice. Dockery should be available Sunday and will likely start.

Safety Quintin Mikell is unlikely to play Sunday. He sprained his ankle against the Bills and sat out Wednesday's practice.

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