Rivera: Rookie Benwikere to start at cornerback

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers coach Ron Rivera says rookie Bene Benwikere will start at cornerback on Sunday against New Orleans.

Benwikere replaces veteran Antoine Cason, who was waived on Tuesday.

Cason started 11 games for the Panthers but struggled in recent weeks, surrendering a touchdown pass on Sunday in a 31-13 loss to Minnesota.

Benwikere returned to action last Sunday after missing six weeks with a high ankle sprain. He has two starts at nickel back and 18 tackles and three pass breakups.

Rivera says Benwikere ''has a good skill set and plays with good vision.''

Panthers safety Roman Harper says Carolina's shift to playing younger defensive backs might work out because ''sometimes it's good to have young and dumb guys out there'' who will ''fly around and make plays.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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