Shoulder problems have plagued Jenkins

Updated: October 13, 2004, 3:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Any lingering hope the Carolina Panthers had for repeating as NFC champions likely has suffered a final injury blow.

Kris Jenkins
Defensive Tackle
Carolina Panthers
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
11 10 1 0 1 0

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 labrum. 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.

What had been considered the league's best defensive line could be left with a banged-up Buckner, Kindal Moorehead and Omari Jordan as its remaining tackles the rest of the season.

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 game."

Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.