Newton loses another target as Panthers’ Benjamin hurt
The Carolina Panthers lost another of Cam Newton’s top targets to injury.
Kelvin Benjamin left with a knee injury after the first quarter of the Panthers’ 34-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the second straight week their struggling offense was further weakened by the departure of a key pass catcher.
The receiver’s leg got bent back awkwardly after he was dragged down from behind. Benjamin tore his ACL in the same knee two years ago. Coach Ron Rivera offered no indication on the seriousness of the injury, saying Benjamin will be re-evaluated by doctors on Monday.
The Panthers were playing their first game without Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who broke his right foot in a loss to Buffalo last week.
Newton was limited in practice this week as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery, and he left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter, though Rivera said the switch was a ”self-preservation move” rather than injury.
Seattle’s Doug Baldwin caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 33-27 loss to Tennessee, but left in the fourth quarter with an injured groin. The Seahawks also lost linebacker Dewey McDonald to a knee injury on the opening kickoff. He did not return.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Giants on the final play of regulation despite losing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf), running back Darren Sproles (wrist) and linebacker Jordan Hicks (ankle) in the first half. New York also lost defensive end Olivier Vernon to an ankle injury and running back Orleans Darkwa to an injured back in the fourth quarter.
A Buccaneers defense that was already without three starters took a few more hits Sunday, with linebacker Lavonte David lost in potentially the biggest blow. He had the back of his ankle rolled on inadvertently by a Vikings player during a scrum around the ball in the fourth quarter and left the field on a cart.
”X-rays were negative,” coach Dirk Koetter said. ”That’s the good news.”
The New York Jets got their first win but lost running back Matt Forte to an injured toe that caused him to sit out most of the second half. Coach Todd Bowles said Forte, who finished with 25 yards on eight carries, would have X-rays.
Outside linebacker Josh Martin and wide receiver Charone Peake both left with ankle injuries. Bowles said they also will have X-rays taken.
Dolphins safety Nate Allen left with a hamstring injury.
Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister limped off the field early in the third quarter after a hard hit from the Texans’ Johnathan Joseph.
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