Any lingering hope the Carolina Panthers had for repeating as NFC champions likely has suffered a final injury blow.
The team said Wednesday that it will put Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, considered the league's most dominant defensive tackle the past two seasons, on injured reserve.
Coach John Fox said Jenkins will have surgery to correct a torn
Jenkins hurt the shoulder during the Panthers' only victory this season against the Chiefs. At the time, Jenkins, who has a history of shoulder problems dating back to college, thought there may have been some nerve damage. Although he played the past two games, Jenkins hasn't been totally effective. He also missed a team meeting in the past week that led to a fine.
"He was only a shell of himself the last two weeks; he couldn't
extend his arm," Fox said. "It was evident to the coaches, myself
and to him. It's too hard a position to play with one arm."
The team gave Jenkins permission to visit doctors and have the shoulder checked. This week's examination found a potentially serious problem that needs to be fixed. The timing couldn't be worse because teammate Brentson Buckner missed Sunday's loss to the Broncos because of a sore knee. Buckner has a long history of knee problems.
On offense, the Panthers have temporarily lost their best receiver, Steve Smith, to a broken ankle and halfback DeShaun Foster to a broken collarbone. Halfback Stephen Davis is just coming back from a knee injury.
"I've never been on a team before that has lost so many of
their top guys," Davis said. "But injuries are part of the
Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.