Rivera Considering Changing Starting Cornerback

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he’s considering benching “struggling” cornerback Josh Thomas against Tampa Bay Thursday night and replacing him with undrafted rookie Melvin White.

White has played in five games, but never started.

Thomas gave up two long passes Sunday in Carolina’s 30-15 win over St. Louis _ a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin and a 73-yard play to Brian Quick. The touchdown to Austin was called back because of tripping a penalty.

Rivera said Wednesday White has “done a really nice job, and J.T. (Thomas) is struggling with it right now.”

Rivera said defensive tackle Dwan Edwards will miss his fifth straight game with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Steve Smith was added to the injury report as probable after getting his foot stepped on in practice.

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