Panthers Center to Miss Remainder of Season

The Carolina Panthers seized a brief moment of glory in Week 7 when they defeated their NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-3, but their bad luck reared its ugly head again Wednesday afternoon. Interim head coach Steve Wilks announced today that starting center Pat Elflein will undergo season-ending hip surgery. Elflein played in every offensive snap over the Panthers' first six games before popping up on the team's injury report last week with a hip issue. The center would go on to miss Week 7 after earning a questionable tag. Apparently, additional testing revealed the hip injury was severe enough to shut him down for the year.

Elflein was replaced in the starting lineup by Bradley Bozeman. The fifth-year player distinguished himself beautifully, earning a stellar 93.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his 50 snaps. He joined the Panthers this offseason after four years and 49 starts with the Baltimore Ravens. Given his consistency, availability, and quality, he should prove a perfectly serviceable replacement.

Elflein signed on with the Panthers in 2021 after four years in the league with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. After 42 starts over his first three seasons, he has struggled to stay on the field in recent years, missing 17 games since 2020. He's in line to miss another 10 over the remainder of this season.
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