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Shoulder problems have plagued Jenkins

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- All-Pro defensive tackle Kris Jenkins was lost for the season Wednesday to a shoulder injury, the fourth
important member of the Carolina Panthers out for the year.

It was the latest blow to the defending NFC champions, who are
already without top receiver Steve Smith (broken leg) and No. 2
running back DeShaun Foster (broken collarbone.)

Star running back Stephen Davis has also missed three games with
a knee injury, leaving Carolina (1-3) thin on talent all over the
field.

"I've never seen anything like this. Not like this, not the
guys that we had go down," said defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead,
who will replace Jenkins.

"We had main guys go down like Kris and Steve and Stephen Davis
missing a couple games. It just shows what kind of team this is
going to be -- either we're going to fold or we're going to step in
and make the plays we need to make."

Jenkins' loss will be hard for Carolina to overcome. The
defensive line has struggled all season, after two years of
dominating run defense.

But the Panthers have been hard pressed to stop any backs this
season, including fullback Rueben Droughns, who ran for 193 yards
in Denver's win over Carolina last week.

Panthers coach John Fox said Jenkins was injured in Week 2
against Kansas City, but tried to play through the pain.

"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."

Jenkins had shoulder problems dating to his college days at
Maryland, but had stayed injury free through his first three
seasons. He became a dominant player at his position, earning two
consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl while leading Carolina's
defensive line.

Now he's gone and fellow defensive tackle Brentson Buckner, who
didn't play last week because of a knee injury, is questionable for
this week's game against Philadelphia.

The Panthers' once-vaunted front four is suddenly just a shell.
Top backup Shane Burton was released after he was injured in the
preseason, leaving the inexperienced trio of Moorehead, Omari
Jordan and Damane Duckett to pick up the slack.

But Jordan didn't even practice Wednesday, held out because of a
sprained ankle that had him using crutches.

Still, Fox said the Panthers won't quit.

"Our guys are tough, they understand that's part of the league
and we've got to select 46 to go up to Philadelphia and play," he
said. "They are not going to cancel the rest of the schedule or
cancel this game.

"It is what it is in the league. You get injuries."

The Panthers should be slightly bolstered Sunday by the return
of Davis, who said he's dramatically improved since his Sept. 17
knee surgery.

He had a full practice on Wednesday, and said he moved better
than he has since the surgery.

But he was adamant he would play last week in Denver, only to be
deactivated after a mediocre pre-game warmup. He's not making any
promises this time, but said he would welcome a heavy workload if
he does play.

"I have missed three games. If they give me 50 carries that
would be great," he said. "I'm trying to help my team win. I feel
that anytime I get an opportunity to touch the ball I'm going to
try to make a play and make something happen."