The Carolina Panthers' stagnant running game just took a major hit.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera announced Wednesday that center Ryan Kalil suffered a Lisfranc injury against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and will be knocked out for the rest of the season. The team announced Kalil already has been placed on injured reserve.
Yikes. Kalil is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and probably the best center in football.
The injury already might have cost Carolina a game. Rivera admitted he didn't call a quarterback sneak by Cam Newton in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks in large part because of Kalil's injury. Instead, Newton wound up throwing a one-hopper to an open man in the end zone.
"He got some treatment, they re-taped his foot and brought him back out there and he finished the game," Rivera told The Associated Press about Kalil, who injured the foot during the first half. "The assumption we were (going) with was that he was going to be fine. He went and saw Dr. Anderson yesterday and there was a lot of concern. Today, everything was confirmed."
This season started in Carolina with Kalil promising the Panthers fan base a Super Bowl win. This injury news, on top of the team's 1-4 record, is about as bitter a start to the season as possible.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.