Kelvin Benjamin is set to miss the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. As reported by the Inquisitr earlier today, Benjamin was carted off the field after injuring his knee during a non-contact drill. The Carolina Panthers were in the middle of a joint practice with the Miami Dolphins at Wofford College.
Ian Rapoport from NFL.com was the first to break the bad news on Twitter regarding the full extent of the second-year wide receiver’s injury.
It’s a torn ACL for #Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 19, 2015
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman offered his comments on the injury.
“We’re confident he will attack his surgery and rehab with the same determination he has met all challenges before,” he told reporters.
While a torn ACL is no longer viewed as a career-threatening injury, Benjamin is still in for a long rehab process. Many experts estimate that a torn ACL will take around a year to recover, with more time needed for the individual to fully trust the knee. With better surgical methods and rehab processes, many NFL players have recently recovered much more quickly after suffering this previously devastating injury.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL in July of 2013. In a report from NFL.com in April of 2014, Maclin claimed to be “fully recovered” from his right ACL tear. Maclin went on to have the best season of his career in 2014, when he secured 85 receptions, 1,318 yards, and 10 touchdowns.
According to ESPN, Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in a game against the Washington Redskins in late December of 2011. For an injury that should have sidelined Peterson for the 2012 season at the minimum, he was able to return for the first game the following September and set new career numbers. He rushed for 2,097 yards and had 12 touchdowns.
Adam Schefter of ESPN also confirmed the torn ACL on his Twitter account. Additionally, he listed the next three wide receivers on the Panthers depth chart.
With Kelvin Benjamin lost to season-ending torn ACL, Panthers must rely on WR group that includes Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn, Jarrett Boykin.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 19, 2015
With Benjamin out for the year, Cam Newton’s job just got a lot harder. Now without his top receiving threat, Newton will be throwing to Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn, and Jarrett Boykin. Funchess was drafted 41st overall by the Panthers in the 2015 draft, but he is an unproven rookie and is dealing with an injury of his own, according to ProFootballTalk. Ted Ginn is a journeyman wide receiver with only 11 career touchdowns in eight seasons. Boykin only had three receptions last year for 23 yards.
Still, only 24 years old, Kelvin Benjamin is a young guy with an excellent prognosis. Based on the recent history of ACL tears, Benjamin should be back to 100 percent in 2016. He may even come back better.
[Image via Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]