Panthers DB Charles Godfrey: From Safety to Nickel Corner to Both

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After a few months in a new position, Charles Godfrey is back at his old spot. Well, kind of.

Godfrey played safety for the Panthers his first six seasons, but he was moved to nickel corner this offseason. This week, he’s taken some reps deeper in the defensive backfield.

“I was asked if I could move to safety a little bit. We’re kind of down on numbers now,” Godfrey said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve been doing that since I’ve got here, so that’s easy for me. Not a lot of thinking, it’s fun.”

To be clear, Godfrey isn’t being moved permanently. He’s still getting reps at nickel as well. The issue for the Panthers is they can’t depend on the health of safeties Roman Harper and Tre Boston, so they need another body back there.

“That’s out of necessity,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “If we were to keep five safeties and those guys aren’t up, that only gives us three. Knowing that Charles has that ability, we wanted to get a couple reps with him this week just to make sure on that.”

Godfrey’s position hopping should be a warning sign for safeties Anderson Russell and Robert Lester. Russell has not played well in two preseason starts at strong safety, and Lester is currently nursing a sprained ankle. And while Godfrey hasn’t had a great summer, either, his versatility is valuable.

“I did a great job at corner. I’m still corner; I’m still nickel,” Godfrey said. “When you’ve got a guy who can play all three positions, you might as well just keep him polished up on everything. You never know what could happen.”

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