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Panthers place rookie LB Brandon Smith on injured reserve

This move effectively ends the Penn State product’s season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers Training Camp Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering an ankle injury against Seattle, the Panthers have announced that their 2022 4th round draft pick will be hitting the bench for the foreseeable future.

The rookie linebacker was mainly a special teams player, though he was trending upward logging one start at linebacker as the season progressed. The Penn State product found himself drafted by Matt Rhule’s philosophy of finding high end athletes whom could be coached up into solid NFL players. Here is a snippet of Pro Football Network’s draft profile, which you can find here;

Brandon Smith’s injury leaves Carolina’s linebacking group relatively thin behind Shaq Thompson and Frankie Luvu. Damien Wilson and Cory Littleton are solid veteran presences behind them, but one bad string of injuries for the starters or on special teams will have Chandler Wooten (UDFA acquired from the Cardinals practice squad in week 7) or Joel Iyiegbuniwe (5 year special teams player) relegated to primary backup roles.

Brandon Smith needed some seasoning already, so I hope he can make the most of his time rehabbing to learn the mental aspect of the NFL. Best wishes, Brandon!