Carolina tackles Gross, Otah leave game with injuries

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina lost both its offensive tackles when Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah were injured in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Left tackle Gross left in the first quarter with a concussion, and right tackle Otah injured his right ankle with 2:26 to play in the third period. Neither returned.

It wasn't clear how Gross was injured with 9:45 to play in the first. He was laying face down on the grass following a 1-yard run by DeAngelo Williams, and quarterback Jake Delhomme said he believed Gross was briefly unconscious.

"We could kind of hear him come to ... you pray that everything's fine," Delhomme said. "I saw him at the half and he seemed fine, so we'll see. I've never once seen him miss a practice. I've never once seen him miss a rep. I'm trying to think back, since he got here in '03, he's never missed anything. To see him down and watching the play and I look and he wasn't moving, it's a sickening feeling."

After a delay of several minutes, a stretcher was sent onto the field for Gross, who waived it off. He instead left on the back of a cart, pumping his right fist to the crowd as he left.

The injuries left the Panthers with a depleted roster of offensive lineman because guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and tackle Frank Omiyale were both inactive.

The Panthers moved Travelle Wharton to left tackle and Geoff Hangartner came in at left guard while backup right guard Jeremy Bridges replaced Otah.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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