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Shaq Thompson placed on injured/reserve with a fractured fibula

The Panthers are likely without their top veteran defender for the rest of the season.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers losses continued to pile up after a loss to the division rival New Orleans Saints on Monday. It looks like a key piece to the defense will be unavailable for most of, if not the rest, of the season.

The Panthers undisputed leader of the defense suffered a leg injury after a play was called dead against the Saints on Monday. He was clearly in a lot of pain and frustrated as most of the Panthers sideline came out to convey their support. Now we know Shaq will likely miss the rest of the season. Thompson figured to be a key piece of the front seven as the Panthers debuted a new defense in 2023.

In his stead, Kamu Grugier-Hill, a player who got a ton of praise in training camp, will likely figure as the second off ball linebacker next to Frankie Luvu. Both had great performances on Monday, as Hill managed 5 tackles and a sack against the Saints offense. I expect Carolina to call up another linebacker, such as Deion Jones to fill Thompson’s spot. Still, this is a devastating blow to a defense that will also be without CB Jaycee Horn for the foreseeable future.