Eric Reid will start against the New York Giants on Sunday in his Carolina Panthers debut, head coach Ron Rivera confirmed on Friday.
Reid's return to the field comes after the Pro Bowl safety signed a one-year deal with the Panthers last Thursday.
"We're going to keep an eye on him," Rivera said. "We'll see how he does the first couple series, try and gauge that and go from there. We really don't want to overuse him. We want to be smart about it. We want this for the long haul."
Reid started 12 of 13 games for the 49ers last year. He recorded 53 tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions before becoming a free agent in the offseason. The safety has 318 tackles, 34 passes defended and 10 interceptions in his career.
Reid said on Monday that he was "without a doubt" still pursuing his collusion grievance against the NFL despite signing with the Panthers. Reid claims that team owners and the league prevented his employment after he joined former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in national anthem protests in 2016.
Reid's addition to the secondary is timely. The Panthers placed safety Da'Norris Searcy on injured reserve after he suffered his second concussion in a 30-day span during the team's Week 2 loss in Atlanta. Carolina has been short on talent in the secondary so far this season.
The Panthers are coming off of a bye week and currently sit behind the Saints atop the AFC South with a record of 2–1.