Panthers CB Cockrell breaks left leg in training camp
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Panthers cornerback Ross Cockrell broke his left tibia and fibula during practice Monday at the team’s training camp at Wofford College.
The team said Cockrell will need surgery, but has not said if he is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
It is the second severe injury in three days for the Panthers, a team that went 11-5 last season and earned a wild-card spot.
Carolina lost starting right tackle Daryl Williams on Saturday to a dislocated patella and torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The Panthers have not said if Williams will have surgery or if he will try to recover without it.
Cockrell was injured when he collided with wide receiver Torrey Smith in the end zone while trying to break up a pass.
Several teammates openly grimaced and quickly looked away after checking on Cockrell, clearly distraught at the sight of his leg. Several players began helping him onto the cart and tapped him on the shoulder pads while others took a knee and prayed before he left on a cart.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera ended the practice session immediately after Cockrell’s injury.
“Ross was doing some really good things,” Rivera said after practice, before it was announced the leg was broken.
“He’s a wily veteran and a guy that has really done some really good things since he’s been here. It’s one of those things you have a guy who is going to contribute. It’s a tough one because he’s such a good person, too.”
Cockrell signed a two-year, $6.8 million free agent contract this offseason and was expected to compete for a starting spot opposite James Bradberry. Now the Panthers are expected to turn to either rookie Donte Jackson or Kevon Seymour.
Cockrell could be heard screaming “leg is broke” after the collision.
“To hear a grown man scream, you know it’s not good,” Jackson said.