Carolina Panthers: Kawann Short injury huge blow to defense
The Carolina Panthers received some bad news on Monday.
The news the Carolina Panthers received on Monday afternoon was not ideal. Stud defensive tackle Kawann Short was placed on season-ending injured reserve. The injured reserve designation stems from his torn rotator cuff. This significantly hampers the Carolina Panthers defense and puts them in a tough spot.
For one, the Panthers are losing a captain, as well as a two-time Pro Bowler. He recorded 7.5 sacks and 49 tackles in 16 games last year. He was as dependable as they come. He was also a tremendous source of pass-rushing ability. Carolina will undoubtedly miss him in that department. Secondly, he could clog up running lanes with ease. Measuring in at 6-4-3, 315 pounds, Short undoubtedly provided an intimidating presence. He could do a little bit of everything, from filling the lanes, to sacking the quarterback.
More from Cat Crave
- Ranking the top-five QB prospects the Panthers could draft in 2023
- 4 remaining Carolina Panthers cap crunches after Damien Wilson release
- Could Duce Staley help Carolina Panthers land Jamaal Williams in 2023?
- How much could the Carolina Panthers afford to offer Lamar Jackson?
- 4 Panthers rumors to emerge from 2023 NFL Scouting Combine
Perhaps the most interesting part and of all of this is now Vernon Butler will have a chance to show what he is made of. Butler has had an up-and-down career as a member of the Carolina Panthers. He signed with the team on May 13, 2016 putting ink to paper on a four-year deal. So far, he has 45 tackles, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Those are not terrible numbers to be sure. Even more interesting when it comes to Butler is that the team declined his fifth-year option earlier this year. This means he will become a free agent in the 2020 season.
He will undoubtedly have big shoes to fill, and I think it would be safe to say that he is going to have a chance to show that he deserves a big-time contract. Combined with Dontari Poe, those two should be able to help fill the gap left by Short defensively. Even still, there is no denying that this is a massive loss.
This could potentially mean a couple of things for the defense. For one, they may have to rely on their secondary a bit more. The secondary is certainly capable of putting together strong games. However, they cannot do it alone. I’m thinking that the tackle numbers for the linebackers will spike a little bit as well. Luke Kuechly for example also has the ability to be an effective pass rusher. It is possible that he could take on a larger role in that regard.
Either way, the loss of Short is certainly a difficult one to overcome for the Carolina Panthers. They will have to patch things up in a hurry, as they take on a Jacksonville Jaguars offense on Sunday that features Leonard Fournette and Gardner Minshew. It will not be an easy loss to overcome, but I believe that Carolina has enough personnel to get it done.