Kelvin Benjamin Injury: Updates on Panthers WR's Knee and Return

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured Columnist

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was carted off at training camp Wednesday with what was originally thought to be a sprained knee but turned out to be a torn ACL, ending the second-year player's season.

Continue for updates.


Benjamin Tears ACL in Practice

Wednesday, Aug. 19

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provided the news of Benjamin's MRI after his exit from practice prior to the wideout confirming the news via his Facebook account:

Steve Reed of the Associated Press passed along a photo of Benjamin on a cart during Wednesday's training-camp scrimmage with the Miami Dolphins:

Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel noted the wideout went down on a non-contact play, and Jeff Zell of WCCB passed along video of the play on which he was hurt:

Bleacher Report's Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe discussed whether the Panthers could survive a serious injury to Benjamin:

Benjamin is coming off a rookie season in which he recorded 73 receptions for 1,008 yards, tying him with teammate and tight end Greg Olsen for 21st in the NFL in receiving yards. 

He had the third-most receiving yards among rookies, trailing only New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans.

Carolina was able to take advantage of a weak NFC South, winning the division with a 7-8-1 record. The Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Wild Card Round before falling to the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. 

Benjamin recorded 11 receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in those games against two good defensive teams, and he developed into one of quarterback Cam Newton's favorite targets. Newton threw to Benjamin 146 times last season, the most of any of his receivers. 

Since Benjamin's injury is serious, expect rookie wideout Devin Funchess to see a significant uptick in targets. While Funchess is skilled, he lacks some of Benjamin's speed and agility. Newton will likely rely more heavily on veteran tight end Olsen as his primary pass-catcher. 

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