A day removed from placing their Pro Bowl kicker on injured reserve and announcing that franchise quarterback would not play on Sunday with rumors swirling that his season is over, the Panthers have placed another player on IR, this one a key contributor on defense as linebacker and former first-round pick Shaq Thompson has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, the team announced Thursday.
Thompson has been dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the season, but with the Panthers’ playoff chances now sitting below 1%, the team will shut the 24-year old down for the final two weeks of the season; Thompson had played in all 14 games and started 11 of them and will finish with 87 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble, including a career-high 13 tackles against the Baltimore Ravens.
Thompson’s fifth-year option was exercised ahead of the 2017 season and his 2019 cap hit will be $9.2m; his versatility and unique skillset enabled him to play multiple positions and match up well all over the field as he was competent at inside and outside linebacker as well as nickel cornerback or safety. Thompson had played 66.67% of the defensive snaps, including every snap for the first four games of the year while Thomas Davis was suspended, and over half of the special teams snaps this season.
Thompson has 238 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits in 47 career games – he has played in fourteen games every season of his career, including in 2018.
The team has also promoted quarterback Kyle Allen to the main roster for the undrafted rookie out of Houston to back up Taylor Heinicke, who will be making his first start on Sunday; the Panthers have signed defensive tackle Elijah Qualls to the practice squad, filling the open spot created by Allen’s elevation to the active roster.