NFL 

Panthers offense takes a big blow, Benjamin tears ACL

The Carolina Panthers had plenty to feel good about when they broke camp, a decent showing in their first game and solid health. Until today, in their first day of joint practices with the Miami Dolphins they suffered a huge loss. Sophomore wideout Kelvin Benjamin went down in the morning practice during a defensive back vs wideouts 1-on-1 drill. In the video shared by NFL.com earlier this morning, it was what every fan of sports has come to hate and fear, the dreaded non-contact injury. Cam Newton will start the year missing one of his newest, most productive weapons.

It was reported earlier this afternoon that the team believed it was nothing more than a knee sprain, but they were going to get an MRI done to be sure. Now that the results are in, Carolina will be without their top perimeter target this season.

After letting veteran wideout Steve Smith walk in free agency last season, the first round pick had a ton of weight placed on his shoulders to contribute in an offense that sorely needed a top notch passing threat. Not only did he contribute, but he was one of the best young pass catchers in a deep draft class last season. While he didn’t get the headlines of Odell Beckham Jr. or even Mike Evans, the former Florida State Seminole had a great year.

During the draft process, he was taken down a few notches in the court of public opinion due to running a ‘slow’ 40 yard dash time and not having the greatest of hands when the tape was turned on. However, it’s often said that it’s how you perform when the bright lights come on and he did just that. Tallying 73 catches for 1008 yards and nine touchdowns in an offense that isn’t exactly Green Bays should be commended.

His presence will certainly be missed in the Panthers offense, especially downfield. The big guy was able to use his stride to get free downfield and his jumping ability to go up and highpoint the football. After him, there’s mostly complimentary pieces in their receiving corps. So someone, if not a few will have to step up to make up for the loss of production. Truly a huge loss for a young team and a crushing blow to a young man who was looking to build upon the success of his rookie campaign.

 

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CEO/Founder of My Mind on Sports For More Information on Wilson, check out his Bio in the "Team" Section Follow Wilson on Twitter: @Willietspeaks

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