After returning a kickoff in the second quarter of Sunday’s victory against Tampa Bay for a franchise-record 103-yard touchdown, Panthers receiver Damiere Byrd was named the NFC’s special-teams player of the week.
The Panthers haven’t gotten that nod since 2011, which was the last time the team returned a kickoff for a touchdown (Kealoha Pilares).
But the award may have been bittersweet for Byrd, as he had to go on injured reserve this week after hurting his knee while returning a kickoff in the third quarter against the Bucs.
It was the second time Byrd has had to be placed on injured reserve this year.
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A source said that Byrd is not expected to have surgery, and head coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday that he expects Byrd to be a big part of the Panthers’ plans next season.