Carolina Panthers

Panthers LB Shaq Thompson’s status in doubt after knee injury vs. Seahawks

Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) is helped off the field after being injured on a kickoff during the fourth quarter on Sunday.
Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) is helped off the field after being injured on a kickoff during the fourth quarter on Sunday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

One of the final plays of Sunday’s win against the Seattle Seahawks could cost Shaq Thompson at least a game.

Thompson, a rookie linebacker, suffered a knee sprain making a tackle on a kickoff return in the final minute of Sunday’s 27-23 Panthers victory.

A spokesman did not have details about the severity of the sprain, but he did say there’s no concern about the ACL.

“I’m always optimistic about this stuff,” Rivera said. “He did walk in (to the stadium Monday) on his own power without crutches. That’s hopefully a good sign.”

A knee sprain of any significance would leave Thompson sidelined for at least this week’s game against the Eagles and possibly longer.

Thompson injured his left knee when it contacted Tyler Lockett’s helmet as the kickoff returner was tackled at the Seattle 9. Rivera said the good news was Thompson’s knee appeared to be moving upward when contact was made rather than being planted in the ground and being more susceptible to greater injury.

Panthers linebacker A.J. Klein remains in the concussion protocol after missing the Seattle game.

Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards suffered an ankle sprain during the game but continued playing on some special teams plays.

And cornerback Teddy Williams is in the concussion protocol after suffering the head injury early in the second quarter on a kickoff return.

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