The Carolina Panthers clinched a playoff berth and put themselves in position to be the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, but also suffered a potentially devastating blow.
Wide receiver Steve Smith was forced to leave the game with what appeared to be a substantial knee injury. According to the Charlotte Observer, Smith will be getting an MRI on Monday. The leading receiver in franchise history is concerned after injuring the knee while trying to plant his foot, per the piece.
"When I went back out there and tried to go, I couldn’t," Smith said. "So the severity and the seriousness of it just kind of weighs on you a little bit."
Smith is quarterback Cam Newton's favorite weapon. Despite being 34 years old, Smith has enjoyed another highly productive season with 64 catches, 745 yards and four touchdowns. Without him, tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Brandon Lafell will be looked upon to pick up the considerable slack.
The former Utah Ute and Los Angeles native has proven to be one of the most durable players in the league, not having missed a game since 2010.