The Carolina Panthers fought valiantly in their Week 2 contest against the New Orleans Saints, but ended up suffering their second loss of the season by a score of 20-17. There wasn’t much that went right for the Panthers in this one, and making matters even worse, they have received a terrible injury update on Shaq Thompson.

Thompson, who has spent his entire career with the Panthers and is the leader of their defense, had to get carted off the field early due to his injury, which is never a good sign. Sure enough, head coach Frank Reich confirmed that Thompson had suffered a fractured fibula, which will almost certainly end the veteran linebacker’s season just moments into their Week 2 action.

Via Cameron Wolfe:

“Panthers LB Shaq Thompson had surgery on his fractured fibula this morning and likely will be out for the season, HC Frank Reich confirms this morning. Big loss for Carolina — Thompson is a captain, emotional leader and really good player for the defense.”

Thompson will finish the season racking up eight tackles as his only notable stats, which is a shame considering how he was coming off the best season of his career in 2022 when he racked up 135 tackles. For the Panthers, losing Thompson will leave a huge gap right at the center of their defense that is going to be very tough to replace.

Now that Thompson is out, it looks like Kamu Grugier-Hill is likely going to be the guy tasked with primarily replacing him, with Frankie Luvu having to take a step up as well. This is a very tough blow for the Panthers in what’s already been a slow start to the season, and this may end up being a loss that their defense is unable to overcome.