Carolina Panthers sign OL Jeremy Bridges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers announced they've signed free agent guard Jeremy Bridges to serve as a stop-gap for their struggling offensive line.

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Carolina surrendered seven sacks during Sunday's 36-14 loss to the Denver Broncos, ti for the third-most allowed in team history. The 32-year-old Bridges is expected to step in and compete for a starting spot right away at right guard after coach Ron Rivera said starter Jeff Byers was "exposed" in Sunday's loss.

Bridges played for the Panthers from 2006-08.

He was with the Arizona Cardinals last season but was placed on injured reserve with torn left thumb ligaments on Sept. 2. He reached an injury settlement last week.

Bridges started 28 games with the Panthers.

The Panthers placed defensive end Thomas Keiser on IR with an elbow injury.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press