Such promise and hope surrounded Carolina Panthers’ sixth round rookie running back Tyler Gaffney. He and the Panthers will have to wait until 2015 to tap into his potential after Gaffney suffered a season-ending meniscus tear in his left knee.
On Friday night, Gaffney heard a pop on the first play from scrimmage, but did not realize the severity initially. He said he felt “off” after the play, but left practice early not expecting the news he received.
Gaffney showed that he could be depended on to carry the load while at Stanford last season when he tallied 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Panthers stole Gaffney in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and by the looks of how the offense was preparing for this season, Gaffney would have seen some opportunities.
The Panthers got an additional shot of injury news to their backfield earlier in the day on Friday when Jonathan Stewart‘s hamstring injury was announced.
Tyler Gaffney was an under-the-radar selection that Panther Nation should still be excited about. His style of running is very complimentary to what currently occupies our depth chart. This kind of injury looks bad on paper, but should be easily correctable with a season of rehab and rest. Head Coach Ron Rivera hinted that Gaffney will undergo season-ending surgery within the next week.
Gaffney still has the potential to share a similar path as former sixth-round alum, Terrell Davis starting in 2015. His style of running and minimal mileage on his legs from only recently playing football full-time will help keep him renewed. He has a very positive energy about him and loves the game of football, so we should see a speedy recovery for him.