Can The Panthers Survive The Season With Injury Bug ?



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Brady Christensen to IR leaves Panthers thin on interior OL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers, who began the season without starting right guard Austin Corbett, on Wednesday placed starting left guard Brady Christensen on injured reserve heading into Monday night’s NFC South showdown against the New Orleans Saints.

Christensen suffered a biceps injury late in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and will miss the rest of the season, the team said Wednesday.

So the Panthers will be without their two interior starters to protect rookie quarterback Bryce Young.

Injured reserve also could be an option for cornerback Jaycee Horn, who suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of the opener. Coach Frank Reich said Horn is seeking other opinions, but he added that surgery and IR are “on the table.”

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“It is a serious hamstring injury,” Reich said. “He’s going to be out for a while, an extended period of time.”

CJ Henderson, a former first-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020 before being traded to Carolina in 2021, said he expects to be first up to replace Horn. Veteran Troy Hill also could see time there.

Cade Mays, Nash Jensen and Justin McCray will be worked at left guard this week to see who emerges as the starter.

Carolina basically is back to where it was at the end of last season when it finished without Christensen and Corbett. Christensen suffered a fractured ankle during the finale against New Orleans and Corbett tore his ACL.

Christensen fought to be ready for training camp and the opener. Now he is out for at least four games. Corbett began the season on the physically unable to perform list, so he is not eligible to return until at least week 5.

Carolina also officially added running back Tarik Cohen, a former fourth-round pick by the Chicago Bears who hasn’t played since suffering an ACL injury in 2020, to the practice squad.

“I was really excited to have him out there for the workout,” Reich said. “I remember watching him when he was with the Bears and saying, “Man, this guy is different, not only physically is he different but his quickness and as a runner.’

“He looked good out there. I felt a lot of good energy from him like he’s ready to play football. … You’re always looking for good football players who are our kind of guy. He certainly fits in that mold and has a history of being an explosive player for sure.”

Reich expects Cohen to take a few weeks to get back in football shape.

“Physically, he looks like he’s back to his old explosive self,” he said. “So, we have a few weeks to kind of figure that out.”

source