The Panthers announced that they have placed centers Ryan Kalil and Gino Gradkowski on injured reserve. Kalil is being shut down because of a shoulder issue while Gradkowski is being shut down with a knee injury.
Kalil, a five-time Pro Bowler, was forced to exit the Week 11 game against the Saints. Since then, the team left him home for West Coast games against the Raiders and Seahawks. After thorough evaluation, the Panthers have decided that he will not be able to play again this year. Kalil is tied with the Saints’ Max Unger as the 15th best center in the NFL, according to the advanced numbers at Pro Football Focus. Kalil’s overall grade puts him ahead of notables like Maurkice Pouncey, Nick Mangold, and Ryan Kelly.
Gradkowski, Kalil’s understudy, was forced to leave Sunday’s loss to the Raiders with his own knee injury. Tyler Larsen took over at center when Gradkowski went down and he may continue in that role for the rest of the season.
To fill the two spots on the active roster, the Panthers signed center Ryan Wendell and offensive tackle Dan France, France could see significant playing time this week after right tackle Daryl Williams‘ recent ankle injury.
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