Panthers News: Punter Michael Palardy’s season is over before it began

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Michael Palardy
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Michael Palardy /

The Carolina Panthers news regarding the prognosis of starting punter Michael Palardy is not good.

The Carolina Panthers will not have the services of punter Michael Palardy in 2020. The player hasn’t done enough to get fully healthy following a torn ACL. And the organization has deemed it serious enough to require surgery in the coming days.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Carolina Panthers news team will confirm that Palardy is set for the reserve/non-football injury list. This will ensure he misses the 2020 campaign.

The fifth-year pro out of Tennessee sustained the injury to his kicking leg during the offseason. But Palardy has hoped to overcome this and play through the pain next season.

After Palardy reported to the Panthers’ facility for the first time since he sustained the injury at the start of training camp. Carolina’s medical staff have now advised the player to go down the surgery route to give him the best possible chance of making a full recovery.

This represents a significant blow for the player and the franchise. Palardy has become one of the more reliable punters in the NFL during his short career. And he holds the franchise record for net punt average of 40.3 with a minimum ten games played.

According to the team’s website, Palardy set the team record for highest net punting average with 42.4 in 2017. And he was due to make a base salary of $1.84 million in 2020 in the penultimate season of his three-year, $7.52 million deal.

Panthers News: What comes next at the punter position?

The Panthers envisaged Palardy’s predicament playing out in this fashion. They recently signed undrafted free-agent Joseph Charlton to a three-year contract. And the former South Carolina product has propelled into the No. 1 option in the veteran’s absence.

There is a chance that Carolina might bring in someone else for competition during camp. But with rosters set to be trimmed to 80 by August 16. New head coach Matt Rhule might have no other choice other than to go with the unproven player from the outset.

This would be a significant gamble for the Panthers. But Charlton does come into the league with a good resume at the Gamecocks. He is ranked first in program history after ending his time in college with a 45.5-yards-per-punt average. And he has a mammoth leg that should serve him well at the next level.

Palardy will now have to undergo substantial rehabilitation in a bid to return in 2021. But if Charlton or someone else performs well, it might leave the player on the outside looking in.

Prolific kicker Graham Gano can testify to this. And the player goes into training camp fighting it out with Joey Slye for the role after his replacement performed well last season.

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