We saw Vernon Butler leave the Panthers game after an ugly play where his ankle got rolled during a running play. Thankfully, it wasn’t season ending. However, Ron Rivera stated following the game that Butler suffered a high ankle sprain. High ankle sprains are more severe injuries than other types of ankle sprains, and can take several weeks to recover from. Per Dr. Matt Matava via the LA Rams website, a high ankle sprain can typically take between four and six weeks to fully recover from.
This is bad news for a defensive front that relies heavily on rotation. Currently, only Paul Soliai remains healthy behind Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. Soliai is a nose tackle in every sense of the word, while Butler provided a pass rushing option in the rotation. The Panthers will most likely make some kind of move while Butler is out. Eric Crume had a nice preseason and currently sits on the practice squad, however I’d be weary of him taking up the snap count that Butler was. The Panthers had signed Kyle Love to an extension prior to drafting Butler, which eventually caused him to be cut. Love is still a free agent and likely remains on Gettleman’s radar as a stop gap option.
Stay tuned with CSR for any updates.