Charles Godfrey will miss the remainder of the 2013 NFL season with an Achilles' injury, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera announced Monday. Godfrey sustained the injury during the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills while breaking up a pass in the end zone intended for Stevie Johnson.
Alongside Godfrey, the Panthers lost two other starters in the secondary Sunday. Fellow safety Quintin Mikell suffered a sprained right ankle and cornerback D.J. Moore sprained a knee ligament. Reserve corner Josh Thomas also suffered a concussion. Godfrey's injury is considered the most serious, however. Rivera said that Mikell will be "touch and go" this week and was not sure about Thomas' status. Moore was able to return to the game.
The Panthers' secondary was considered a weak spot even before the sudden rash of injuries. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel passed for 296 yards at 7.6 yards per attempt Sunday, and threw a game-winning touchdown to Johnson at the end of regulation.
Godfrey's presence was no doubt missed on the field. According to Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader, he is considered to be the best player in the team's defensive backfield. Unfortunately for him, his injury could also mean he has played his last game as a Panther.
What does this mean for Godfrey's future in Carolina? It almost assuredly means he has seen his last snap in a Panthers uniform. His cap figure was scheduled to jump from $3.7 million to $7.1 million this offseason, which, barring a contract restructure, would have put him in the cap casualty roster cut line after the season ended, so this injury all but seals his fate as far as not being in the Panthers plans going forward.