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Panthers rookie Vernon Butler (ankle) out 2-3 weeks

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  • By Max Meyer NFL.com
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Carolina Panthers first-round defensive tackle Vernon Butler will miss the next two to three weeks because of a high-ankle sprain, a source informed of the injury told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday.

Butler was wearing a cast on his right foot Monday, Rapoport added. He suffered the injury in the second half of Carolina's 22-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday while tackling Minnesota tailback Jerick McKinnon.

The rookie has accumulated one sack and three tackles over the team's first three games. Butler, a collegiate defensive standout at Louisiana Tech, was the No. 30 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Carolina's defensive interior has been a strength so far this season, a group that features Butler, Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. Losing Butler, however, hurts the unit's depth, which is especially key given how much the front rotates throughout a game.

The Panthers are set to take on the Falcons for an NFC South battle in Atlanta next Sunday.

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