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Austin Corbett suffers torn ACL in season finale

Austin Corbett

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers believe they found a foundation for their team in the offensive line, but it could look different this offseason.

General manager Scott Fitterer said Monday that right guard Austin Corbett suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's win over the Saints.

The 27-year-old Corbett started all 17 games and played every snap until he was injured just before halftime.

He now faces the kind of recovery that could push near the start of the 2023 regular season, according to Fitterer, which could have an impact on the Panthers' offensive plans.

Also, left guard Brady Christensen suffered a broken left ankle in Sunday's game.

Christensen said he was getting an MRI later Monday to see what the next steps were but was hoping to avoid major surgery. That would be a shorter recovery than Corbett's but could still limit him during the early portion of the offseason program.

The Panthers have 80 percent of their starting lineup under contract, with rookie left tackle Ikem Ekwonu and right tackle Taylor Moton back alongside the injured guards.

Center Bradley Bozeman is an unrestricted free agent, and though Fitterer said, "we'd like to keep him," that's going to be a bit more complicated.

Bozeman signed a one-year deal this offseason after failing to reach a multi-year agreement with the Ravens last year. He spent his first four years with Baltimore and was a starter in his final three seasons.

Bozeman and his wife are expecting a baby next week, and while he said they would prefer to stay in Charlotte, "we have to do what's best for our family."

The Panthers also have rookie guard Cade Mays, tackle Larnel Coleman, and center Sam Tecklenburg under contract for next year, along with veteran center Pat Elflein, who finished the season on injured reserve.

View photos from Monday's clean-out day as Panthers players packed their things and bid farewell to their teammates for the offseason.

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