Kenny Vaccaro hauled off for Saints

Getty Images

The Panthers and Saints are playing a physical game, befitting what’s on the line today.

And the team with the last man standing might be left shorthanded and needing a playoff bye week.

After Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith left the game with a knee injury, the Saints appear to have lost safety Kenny Vaccaro.

Vaccaro was caught in a pile, and trainers immediately put an air cast on his left leg, and he was carted off the field. It appeared his ankle was twisted at an angle nature didn’t intend under the weight of many bodies.

The Saints lead 3-0 in the second quarter, of a game that’s being played at a playoff-level, at least defensively.