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Stephen Hill Waived-Injured by Panthers Following Season-Ending ACL Tear

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Jul 31, 2015; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Stephen Hill (87) walks to the field during training camp held at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Hill was waived on Sunday after it was determined he tore his ACL during the Carolina Panthers' practice session on Saturday, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

“'I saw Hill go up in the air, and I think he came down on his knee and possibly twisted it a little bit,'” said assistant head coach Steve Wilks, per Bill Voth of BlackandBlueReview.com.

Steve Reed of the Associated Press provided a photo from the field of trainers working on Hill after the injury occurred:

Steve Reed @SteveReedAP

Trainers attending to WR Stephen Hill, who looks really hurt. He is being carted off. http://t.co/5HW7LwDlgL

Panthers receivers' coach Ricky Proehl expressed his disappointment following the injury, courtesy of Voth:

I felt like someone shot me in the gut. When you saw him good down, you knew it wasn’t good. He had such a great summer. You feel for him, all the hard work he’s put in.

He was ready, he was ready. He had a great opportunity to help our football team.

He’s a great kid. He’s done nothing but work his tail off since Day One. For a guy to be drafted in the second round, come to us and be on the practice squad – he checked his ego at the door and did nothing but learn our offense, work his tail off, give our defense a great look at year. I just told him, ‘Your opportunity’s going to come, just keep working.’

He did everything I asked him to do, and I hurt for him, I really do.

For those unaware, Jack Bechta of NFPost.com explained the NFL's waived/injured policy in September 2013. "Waived/Injured: When a team waives an injured player any other team may claim him. If a player clears waivers, the player is immediately reverted to IR or the team will negotiate an injury settlement to allow the player to pursue other opportunities with another club," he wrote.

The 24-year-old was on the Panthers' practice squad last season and seeking to make an impact with the team in 2015. He struggled in two seasons with the New York Jets, but with a better quarterback in Cam Newton, Hill had a chance to re-energize his career.

Carolina needs depth at wide receiver behind Kelvin Benjamin, though it did select Devin Funchess in the second round of the 2015 draft.

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