CHARLOTTE — Defensive tackle Kawann Short will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the reserve/injured list.
Short told head coach Matt Rhule he injured the shoulder while hitting quarterback Matt Ryan during the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Falcons. This injury is to Short's right shoulder. His left shoulder had to be surgically repaired after just two games last year.
"Our hearts break for him. He worked so hard to come back this year," Rhule said. "He's such an integral part of this team, and he will continue to be an integral part of this team."
The veteran defensive tackle was named a captain for the second time in 2020. He had just returned from a foot injury that kept him out for Weeks 2 and 3. Short ends his 2020 season with six total tackles.
After the Panthers made him a second-round pick in 2013, Short appeared in 94 of a possible 96 games during his first six seasons. Now he will have appeared in just five of 32 games in 2019-20.
Defensive tackle Zach Kerr is the likely starter for Short going forward. Kerr started in Weeks 2 and 3 when Short was inactive, registering three quarterback hits in those contests. In his seventh pro season, Kerr has 7.5 career sacks, 21 career quarterback hits, and 13 tackles for loss.
"Zach's played at a good level for us, a high level for us," Rhule said.
The Panthers will continue to utilize a heavy rotation with their defensive tackles. Rookie Bravvion Roy has been receiving 15-20 snaps per game there. Efe Obada can play at both tackle and end, playing 33 snaps in Carolina's Week 5 win. Woodrow Hamilton, who's on the practice squad, played 13 snaps against the Buccaneers in Week 2, picking up a fumble recovery. The club also has Bruce Hector on the practice squad. Carolina could eventually add a tackle, but it would likely be for practice squad depth.
"We like that whole group," Rhule said.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Short has registered 32.5 sacks, 87 quarterback hits, 12 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries in his eight pro seasons.