Panthers sign OL Austen Pleasants to practice squad

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In what is now the apparent corresponding move to Monday’s release of running back Rodney Smith, the Carolina Panthers have brought aboard a new offensive lineman. And, boy, they might need a bigger boat.

The team announced the addition of the 6-foot-7, 312-pound Austen Pleasants to the practice squad on Tuesday. Pleasants has spent the last two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio University in 2020.

The 24-year-old has yet to see any action in the regular season over his brief time as a pro. He had, however, played in each of Jacksonville’s three preseason contests in the summer.

Pro Football Focus marked him out at an overall grade of 45.0 in his 83 exhibition snaps. Pleasants slotted in on the interior of the Jaguars’ offensive line, playing both left and right guard.

As alluded to by general manager Scott Fitterer last week, the team has not had luck tracking down any worthwhile help for their trenches. The trade market for offensive linemen, as it’s been for some time, remains dry.

So we’ll see if this whale of a specimen gets his feet wet at any point this year for a struggling Panthers front.

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