Running back Tyler Gaffney’s rookie season is over before it ever started.
Gaffney, the Carolina Panthers’ sixth-round pick from Stanford, will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee after injuring his knee on the first play of Friday’s Fan Fest.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Gaffney’s surgery would be within the next week.
“It’s disappointing because the young man’s a solid football player,” Rivera said Saturday. “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.”
Rivera said Gaffney was injured carrying the ball on a sweep Friday. Gaffney, who played a season of minor-league baseball, said he’s not had any previous knee issues.
“I was running outside zone, I made a couple of cuts, got upfield, made one last cut and it kind of felt a little bit uneasy,” Gaffney said. “I’ve never had a knee problem in my life, so I knew something was probably wrong.”
With Gaffney out and Jonathan Stewart sidelined indefinitely, Rivera said the Panthers plan to sign a running back.
Gaffney played in 49 games at Stanford and finished with 2,500 rushing yards. He ran for 21 rushing touchdowns as a senior, which led the Pac-12 and was fifth nationally.
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