Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

MRI Confirms Torn ACL for Panthers Cornerback Charles Tillman

The Carolina Panthers received the news they feared Monday when an MRI revealed cornerback Charles Tillman tore his ACL in Sunday’s win over the Bucs.

Coach Ron Rivera confirmed what BBR reported three weeks ago, that Tillman was dealing with a partially torn ligament in his right knee. While he missed four games, the Panthers were hoping to give Tillman as much time as possible to heal, but Bené Benwikere’s broken leg in Week 14 forced their hand. That Tillman played 2.5 games with the injury is impressive, but it may mark the end of his 13-year career.

“It’s too bad. The guy’s done some good things for us,” Rivera said. “But he’s going to be around. He’ll be a part of what we do as we go forward hopefully.”

“He knew exactly what the risks were and he wanted to play.”

When Tillman returned against the Giants, he and the Panthers understood there was a good chance the partial tear could turn into a full one. It could’ve happened at any time after his return. That it did while the Panthers had a comfortable fourth-quarter lead doesn’t mean he was put at unnecessary risk. The same thing could have occurred during practice the next couple weeks or in Carolina’s Divisional Round game.

With the 13-year veteran headed to injured reserve, Robert McClain will slide into a starting role on the outside for the playoffs. He had an interception and seven tackles Sunday in his first snaps on defense since he signed in Carolina last month.

The Panthers could fill Tillman’s roster spot with practice squad cornerback Lou Young, who they considered calling up before Tillman made the call to see how long his knee could hold up.

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