Kawann Short‘s season is already over. On Tuesday, the Panthers placed the defensive lineman on injured reserve, per a club announcement.
“KK has done everything he could possibly do to try to play these past two games,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. “But, we have made the decision that it is in the best long-term interest of KK and the team that he undergo surgery to fix his shoulder and focus on his rehab and get ready for next season.”
Short has suffered a partially torn rotator cuff, and those injuries are notoriously tricky to recover from. The surgery, hopefully, will allow short to bounce back in 2020, without the risk of aggravating the injury this year.
Short has been absent for the Panthers’ last two games and wasn’t looking like his usual self in the club’s first two games. It’s a frustrating setback for obvious reasons, but Short has been fairly lucky so far throughout his career – he did not miss a single game through his first five campaigns and missed just two last year.
Thanks to the monster five-year extension he inked in 2017, Short is under contract through the 2023 season. The Panthers, in reality, are only truly locked in with him through 2021: releasing Short in the offseason would saddle them with $17.35MM in dead money and they’d be looking at an $11MM/$9.8MM dead/savings split prior to the 2021 season. After that, there are two low-cost seasons slated for 2022 and 2023.
To take his place on the roster, the Panthers have promoted fellow DL Bryan Cox, Jr. from the practice squad. Cox, the son of three-time Pro Bowler Bryan Cox (duh), has appeared in 18 games for the Panthers over the last two seasons.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are 2-2 with back-to-back wins under the guidance of quarterback Kyle Allen. There’s still no word on when Cam Newton might be able to return.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.