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Matt Corral suffers "significant" injury

Matt Corral

CHARLOTTE — The foot injury suffered by rookie quarterback Matt Corral Friday night was a "significant" one and will cost the third-round pick a substantial amount of time.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Corral suffered a tear of the Lisfranc ligament in his left foot last night. Rhule said Corral and his family were discussing with the medical experts now to determine the next steps in his recovery.

Corral was injured in the fourth quarter against the Patriots, when he was stepped on awkwardly. He left the stadium in a walking boot, and an MRI in Charlotte Saturday morning revealed the extent of the damage.

"I hate it for him. I hate it any time one of our guys is hurt," Rhule said. "And I thought he was playing well too. I left him in that situation backed up, because I wanted him to have that, hey here's the crowd, here's the noise. But I thought I saw a lot of really nice signs early in the game. Found some guys that were open, and did some good things.

"I know Matt's a battler, so this year of development, he's going to have to grind, both taking care of his foot and all the things he needs to do as a quarterback. Hopefully some day, he'll look back and say it was a blessing, but I hate it for him right now."

Rhule said it was touching for him to see veteran players JJ Jansen and Johnny Hekker give up their first-class seats on the team plane for Corral and running back Spencer Brown (who suffered an ankle injury and is week-to-week), indicative of the way the team will support Corral.

The injury also complicates a lot of roster decisions in the coming weeks for the Panthers.

The plan throughout has been to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, but that may not necessarily be the case now. They have traditionally kept just two quarterbacks.

This year, as many as eight players can be activated from injured reserve after four games.

But to return this year, they have to be on the 53-man roster at final cuts, so depending on the time frame for his recovery, it could require some difficult decisions.

Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are still options to start (Rhule wasn't answering questions about the status of that job Saturday), and the Panthers also have PJ Walker on the roster.