It’s not often that a starting defensive end is available for any other team to snatch. In the case of Panthers starting defensive end Frank Alexander, any NFL team looking for a guy to add to the pass-rushing rotation has a shot at claiming Alexander on waivers.
It’s happening because Alexander will miss the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon. But instead of keeping him on the active roster until the point at which he could be shifted to injured reserve automatically, the Panthers opted to waive him with the injured designation. If he’s unclaimed, Alexander will revert to Carolina’s IR list.
Of course, some think that the unwritten rules of the NFL require other teams to stay away from injured players who are being passed through waivers. Three years ago, Patriots coach Bill Belichick defied that notion by claiming tight end Jake Ballard on waivers as the Giants tried to slip him through to IR. Coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t happy.
The question now becomes whether Panthers coach Ron Rivera will be happy or unhappy if another team claims Alexander on waivers before Tuesday’s deadline of 4:00 p.m. ET.