Panthers DT Dontari Poe is feared to have torn his quad vs. Saints
According to NFL Network and NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers fear that defensive tackle Dontari Poe suffered a torn quad during the team’s 34-31 Week 12 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Poe, a two-time Pro Bowl interior lineman, has anchored the middle of the Panthers defensive line during his second year with the team where he has recorded 22 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and four sacks in 11 games played.
Playing for the Chiefs, Falcons, and Panthers during his eight-year career, Poe has been able to stay healthy playing in 15 or more games in every season of his NFL career until this one.
An MRI will be done in order to confirm Poe’s injury, but if the 6-foot-3, 346-pound defensive tackle has indeed torn his quad, his 2019 season will be over. Poe’s absence will further hinder a Panthers’ defense that has especially struggled in recent weeks and ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed and both passing and rushing yards allowed per game.
Poe has one year left on his contract with the Panthers and Carolina can save $10 million in cap room if they were to cut him before the June 1 deadline.
If the injury is confirmed, Carolina will likely turn to veteran defensive tackle Kyle Love to replace Poe’s pass rush ability in the middle of the defensive line. Love has registered only five total tackles in 2019 despite playing in 10 games and has recorded 15 total sacks in his 10-year NFL career. There’s also a strong chance the team signs another interior defensive lineman to add depth to the depleted position.