Panthers left tackle Matt Kalil is week-to-week after undergoing a knee scope, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) first reported Kalil would seek a second opinion on his knee from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Kalil, 29, has been durable for most of his NFL tenure: while he missed 14 games with a hip injury in 2016, he’s played in all 16 games in every other season of his career. His current knee injury been hampering him during training camp, and given his week-to-week diagnosis, it’s unclear if Kalil will be available for the start of the regular season.
Carolina can ill afford to lose any more offensive linemen. After allowing left guard Andrew Norwell to defect in free agency, the Panthers saw right tackle Daryl Williams go down with a torn MCL and dislocated knee cap in July. While Carolina is hoping Williams can return in the second half of the season, that’s far from a guarantee. Meanwhile, veteran Amini Silatolu — who had been winning the battle to replace Norwell at left guard — underwent surgery for a torn meniscus earlier this month.
With three projected offensive line starters sidelined, the Panthers are going to be forced to reshuffle their front five. 2017 second-rounder Taylor Moton was already scheduled to play right tackle in relief of Williams, but he could now be forced to move to the blindside. That would open yet another hole at right tackle, where journeyman Blaine Clausell would presumably step in.
Carolina could conceivably look to the open market for reinforcements, but the list of available tackles is slim. Currently, the top options include Chris Clark, Will Beatty, Bryce Harris, and Chris Hairston, while Menelik Watson will soon join them when he’s released by the Broncos.
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