CHARLOTTE -- A nagging shoulder problem wasn't enough to torpedo Jeff Otah's season, but a left knee injury was.
The second-year right tackle became the 10th player on the Panthers' injured-reserve list Tuesday, succumbing to an injury suffered during the Panthers' 20-10 loss at New England on Sunday. Otah left the game in the final moments when the shoulder problem flared up, but by Monday the knee problem was the primary concern.
Otah's absence is another body blow to an offensive line that lost its other bookend tackle Nov. 15 when Pro Bowler
But unlike left tackle, the Panthers don't have the same reservoir of reserve experience they can tap on the right side. No one else on the 53-man roster has started at right tackle for the Panthers. First-year player
Otah brings the Panthers' complement of injured-reserve players to 10 and is the third offensive lineman on the list, joining Gross and rookie
When factoring in the games lost by players whose injuries didn't necessitate placement on injured reserve, Carolina's starters have lost a combined 56 man-games to injury and are guaranteed to lose at least 74, given the afore-mentioned starting sextet's absence from the next three games.
During the Panthers' 12-4 season last year, they had only 16 man-games lost by starters to injuries. Just five players were placed on injured reserve, and only one was a starter: guard
To replace Otah on the roster, Carolina signed fellow University of Pittsburgh product Rob Pettiti, who has experience with three NFL clubs -- including a full season starting at right tackle for Dallas in 2005 -- but saw his most recent action in the United Football League in October and November.
Petitti becomes the second member of the UFL's Florida Tuskers to sign with the Panthers. Linebacker