Carolina Panthers

Panthers place DT Kawann Short on IR, will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

The Carolina Panthers have placed veteran defensive tackle Kawann Short on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday. Short will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and will miss the rest of the season.

Short was injured in the team’s Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay and has missed the last two games. The two-time Pro Bowler briefly returned to practice the following week, but took his pads off midway through. Short has not practiced since.

“KK has done everything he could possibly do to try to play these past two games,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement, “but we have made the decision that it is in the best long-term interest of KK and the team that he undergo surgery to fix his shoulder and focus on his rehab and get ready for next season.”

Short was to pair with fellow Pro Bowlers Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe on the defensive line in the Panthers’ new 3-4 base front. Coach Ron Rivera said Monday the team hasn’t played much of that package because of the spread offenses Carolina has faced during the first month of the season.

Short will finish the year with four tackles, one of them for loss, and three quarterback hits.

Former first-round pick Vernon Butler Jr. and Kyle Love have filled in for Short against Arizona and Houston. Butler combined with safety Eric Reid to force a late fumble against Houston that helped seal the Panthers’ second win of the season. Love played 28 percent of the defensive snaps against the Texans, compared to 16 percent for Butler.

In response to the loss of Short, the Panthers have signed defensive lineman Bryan Cox Jr. to the active roster off their practice squad.

Brendan Marks is a general assignment sports reporter for the Charlotte Observer covering the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, NASCAR and more. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked for the Observer since August 2017.
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