Panthers rookie Tyler Gaffney lost for season to knee injury

AP

The Panthers are waiting for running back Jonathan Stewart to return to action after tweaking his hamstring, but he’s not the only injured member of the backfield.

Coach Ron Rivera announced that sixth-round pick Tyler Gaffney will spend his rookie season recovering from a knee injury. Gaffney injured his knee during Friday night’s practice and doctors determined he needs season-ending surgery long before the season even gets underway.

“It’s disappointing because the young man’s a solid football player,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “He’s had a history of being a workhorse, and unfortunately in practice [Friday] he got his knee in a bad position and something popped.”

Stewart expects to miss 2-4 weeks while recovering from his latest injury, leaving DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert sat the two main cogs in the running game. 2013 sixth-rounder Kenjon Barner is also on a thinner depth chart than the Panthers had a week ago.