Horrible news for Carolina Panthers, as their top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is out for the entire season with a torn ACL.
The wide receiver went down yesterday during a joint practice yesterday with the Miami Dolphins during a one-on-one drill with their safety Reshad Jones. He immediately grabbed his knee and had to be taken off the field in a cart.
Many of his Panthers fans were hoping it would just be a sprain, as he was due to play a huge part in their offense next season and become a break out star. This is no longer the case as an MRI scan confirmed in the evening he had torn his ACL and would be out for the season.
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According to ESPN, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement: "Obviously, we feel awful for Kelvin. He's worked tremendously hard to put himself in a position to have a strong year. We're confident he will attack his surgery and rehab with the same determination he has met all challenges before."
Panthers will now be without their star wide receiver for the entire season. Benjamin was due for a break out year after his 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2014 season.
The man that will likely replace Benjamin on the receiving core is rookie Devin Funchess, who has similar speed and size to the injured star. Although, questions of his health also surround him as he also suffered a hamstring injury late in Wednesday's practice and is unlikely to be available for Thursday's joint practice.
Tight end Greg Olsen is expected to receive much more targets from quarterback Cam Newton once the regular season gets under-way. However, the loss of Benjamin is a huge one for the Panthers and is very damaging towards their passing game because he provides a reliable receiver with good size.
It’s in the same bracket that it was brutal for the Detroit Lions to play without Calvin Johnson in 2014, or the Atlanta Falcons to play without Julio Jones for the majority of the 2013 season. Don’t expect the Panthers offense to be just as good without Benjamin.