DeHaven takes medical leave of absence


CHARLOTTE - Special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven is taking a leave of absence to deal with health concerns.

DeHaven, who joined the Panthers in 2013 as a special teams assistant before assuming special teams coordinator responsibilities in February, has 28 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including 26 leading special teams units.

"Our thoughts are with Bruce and his family, and we wish him a quick recovery," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Out of respect for Bruce and his family's privacy, no additional information will be disclosed."

Russ Purnell, a 26-year NFL veteran who has won Super Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 and Baltimore Ravens in 2000, will coordinate the special teams in DeHaven's absence.

Purnell most recently coached with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL in 2012.

He began his NFL career as tight ends/assistant special teams coach with the Seattle Seahawks in 1987 before being promoted to special teams coordinator in 1992. He then served as special teams coordinator with the Houston/Tennessee Oilers from 1995-98, Ravens from 1999-2001, Colts from 2002-08 and Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009-11.

During that time, Purnell coached seven special teams players to the Pro Bowl.

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