Panthers optimistic that DJ Chark’s surgery will allow him to return to his old form

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Panthers receiver DJ Chark recently underwent surgery to correct a foot/ankle problem, coach Frank Reich said Tuesday.

The hope is that Chark will be healthy enough to participate in at least part of organized team activities, a more optimistic timeline that he originally received.

“And we’re very optimistic that the procedure that he had done is going to end up to be a good story that is going to clean up the issue that he’s been fighting for a couple of years and really give him the best chance to stay on the field,” Reich said, via Darin Gantt of the team website.

Chark, a free agent signing of the Panthers, has missed 19 games the past two seasons because of injuries. He has never played a full season.

In 15 games in 2019, Chark made 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns.

He broke his left ankle in 2021, among a list of issues that have limited him to 54 of a possible 82 games in five seasons.

The Panthers are counting on the surgery getting Chark back to his former self, allowing him to replace DJ Moore as WR1 with the team. Carolina traded Moore to the Bears as part of the deal for the No. 1 overall draft pick.

“Make no mistake: I really wanted DJ. A lot of us did,” Reich said. “I’ve had my eye on him for a couple of years now. I think DJ is a down-the-field threat. I think he’s a very competitive, hard-working player, from all the intel that we’ve gathered. And if you look at his career, even though there have been some injuries along the way, he’s consistently producing over 14 yards per catch. That’s not a mistake. You might do that for one year, but to do that year in and year out.

“And you need that in your offense, right? Anybody you guys know, as well as it, you need those chunk plays. And he’s been a proven chunk-play guy.”

Chark has a career average of 14.4 yards per catch.

2 responses to “Panthers optimistic that DJ Chark’s surgery will allow him to return to his old form

  1. Signing DJ Chark after losing DJ Moore made a lot of sense because the playbook has a lot of plays in it that say “throw it to DJ.”

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