Josh Hawkins released by Panthers days after dancing at restaurant without mask
The Carolina Panthers released practice squad cornerback Josh Hawkins on Monday, and some are wondering whether a social media video had anything to do with the decision.
Video was posted on Instagram over the weekend showing Hawkins dancing to a Soulja Boy song. Hawkins was in a crowded restaurant. The Instagram video tagged the location as Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Charlotte, N.C.
Panthers released practice squad cornerback Josh Hawkins. Over the weekend this video of him dancing in a crowded restaurant w/no mask was posted on IG. When asked if the move was related, Matt Rhule wouldn’t comment specifically. Said it was done in best interest of the team. pic.twitter.com/rVUeAdK2ux
— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) October 26, 2020
Hawkins was dancing around without any facial covering. Hawkins was violating two NFL COVID rules — one for attending an indoor event with a crowd of more than 10 people, and for not wearing a mask.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule only said that Hawkins was released because the move was in the “best interest of the team.”
Matt Rhule says he "thought it was the best interest of the team" to release WR Seth Roberts and practice squad DB Josh Hawkins.
There was a photo of a mask-less Hawkins at a club/restaurant circulating on social media.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 26, 2020
Hawkins, 27, played college ball at East Carolina and originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent. He played in 26 career games with the Packers and has mostly spent time on various practice squads since.