The Carolina Panthers have reportedly placed their 13th and 14th players on injured reserve, and they play the same position. Starting defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Sione Fua — both rookies — are the latest to be declared out for the season.
Both rookies have started since the first game of the season, so this is a big blow to a team that was hoping to build some momentum going into 2012 after blowing out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Fua missed that game after being diagnosed with a hamstring strain beforehand, and McClain left in the first half with a sprained left knee, according to the AP.
The pair being placed on IR is more indicative of the time of year than the severity of the injury, according to James Dator of Cat Scratch Reader:
It's important to not throw around too many superlatives or freak out about the injuries. At this time of year if a player has a strain or similar injury you think could take 3-4 weeks to heal then you might as well put them on IR, gain two roster spots and save the players for the next season.
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