It sounds like Pat Elflein‘s season has come to an end. The Panthers center is set to undergo season-ending hip surgery, coach Steve Wilks told reporters today (via Darin Gantt of NBC Sports on Twitter).
Elflein landed on injured reserve on Saturday. The veteran had reportedly been dealing with a hip injury that forced him to miss practice time leading up to Week 7. The IR stint meant the offensive lineman would have been sidelined until at least Week 11, but the veteran will ultimately miss the rest of the season.
The center started 42 of his first 43 NFL games with the Vikings between 2017 and 2019. After splitting the 2020 campaign with the Vikings and Jets, he joined the Panthers on a three-year, $13.5MM deal. He was limited to nine starts during his first season with the Panthers thanks to a hamstring injury that knocked him out for a few months. After Pro Football Focus graded him towards the bottom of the center position in 2021, Elflein ranked 21st among 37 qualifiers in six starts this year.
Bradley Bozeman will likely take over in the starting lineup for the Panthers. The offensive lineman started 48 games for the Ravens between 2019 and 2021, but he’s been limited to a backup role during his first season in Carolina, starting only one of his seven appearances.