CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers lost a key member of their special teams unit on Tuesday when Wallace Wright was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
The Panthers also placed linebacker Thomas Davis on the reserve- physically unable to perform list, waived receivers Dexter Jackson and Oliver Young and placed defensive end Hilee Taylor on injured reserve following knee surgery to get to the NFL limit of 75 players.
One of Carolina's few free agent signings in the offseason, Wright came from the New York Jets in hopes of leading a turnaround of a Carolina special teams unit that ranked near the bottom of the league in punt and kickoff coverage in 2009. Wright was third in special teams tackles with the Jets last season and was tied for the team lead a year earlier.
"He was a guy we were counting on pretty heavily both at the receiver position and the kicking game," Panthers coach John Fox said.
While he has caught only eight passes in his four-year NFL career, the 6-1, 197-pound Wright had been getting some work with Carolina's starting offense in the preseason. He was hurt Saturday when he was hit hard and fumbled after a catch.
Davis will see if he can make a speedy recovery from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in six months.
The Panthers will get to decide between Week 6 and 9 if Davis, in the final year of his contract, will be able to play late in the season.
Taylor, considered a long shot to make the 53-man roster, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week.