CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers starting free safety Charles Godfrey is out for the remainder of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon, adding to the team's troubles following a 0-2 start.
Team spokesman Charlie Dayton made the announcement Monday shortly after coach Ron Rivera's press conference.
Godfrey, a six-year-starter for the Panthers, sustained the injury during the second half of Carolina's 24-23 loss to Buffalo on Sunday while breaking up a pass to Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson in the corner of the end zone.
Godfrey's injury is a huge blow to a secondary that was already considered the weak link in Carolina's defense. Godfrey, who has started 74 career games, is considered the secondary's best player.
But his injury might not be Carolina's only concern in the secondary as they prepare to host the New York Giants on Sunday.
Rivera said the Panthers will re-evaluate the team's other four injured defensive backs — Quintin Mikell (foot), Josh Thomas (concussion), Josh Norman (thigh) and DJ Moore (knee) — on Wednesday when they return to practice. Mikell and Thomas both left the game Sunday and did not return. Norman and Moore were also injured, but returned to the game later on.
Rivera said if Mikell can't play the Panthers would look at Moore and Colin Jones as potential replacements for Godfrey.
If Thomas is unable to start at cornerback, the Panthers could turn to James Dockery and Melvin White, a pair of young players who've been inactive the last two games.