Rookie left guard Amini Silatolu may not be heading to injured reserve, but only because there’s just one week left in the Panthers’ season.
Silatolu said after Sunday’s game that he thought he dislocated his wrist, and Rivera said Silatolu was the team’s biggest injury concern following the Raiders game.
“We really wouldn’t have to put him on IR, but we’ll see,” Rivera said. “It’s disappointing, because the last few weeks he really played to who we thought he could become. And that’s a tribute to the coaching staff and to him as a guy who’s worked very hard.”
The loss of Silatolu could coincide with the return of starting center Geoff Hangartner, who has missed the past two games with a sprained foot.
“If (Hangartner) has improved like he has and continues to, there’d be an opportunity for him to play,” Rivera said. “We’ll see how that all unfolds.”
If the Panthers chose to put Silatolu on injured reserve, his spot on the roster would be taken by a practice-squad player, Rivera said.
LEADING KUECHLY: Rookie middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is back atop the league’s tackle category after his 13-tackle performance Sunday. He has 151 tackles for the season.
He also had his second interception, which is tied for the team lead.
“Luke has been around the ball and is playing at a high level like something I’ve never seen,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said Sunday. “I don’t want to jump out on a limb, but he’s the best I’ve ever been around.”