The second-year wide receiver will need season-ending surgery for a torn left ACL, the team confirmed. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the news.
Coach Ron Rivera initially believed Benjamin suffered a sprained left knee when the former Florida State star was carted off the field in Wednesday's practice.
"Obviously, we feel awful for Kelvin," general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement released by the team. "He's worked tremendously hard to put himself in a position to have a strong year. We're confident he will attack his surgery and rehab with the same determination he has met all challenges before."
Just as importantly, Benjamin's 6-foot-5, 240-frame offered a huge strike zone that was perfectly suited for Newton's skill set as an inconsistent passer who tends to be wild high when he's off the mark.