Carolina Panthers’ veteran kicker Graham Gano won’t be doing any kicking in 2019 after all. Panthers announced on Friday that they have placed Gano on the injured list and haven’t included them in their 53-man roster, which effectively ruled him out for the season.
Gano suffered an injury to his plant leg late in 2018, which caused him to miss the last four games of the season. Initially, Panthers were optimistic that he will return this summer and the 32-year-old even did some kicking during the training camp. Unfortunately, this is when he started experiencing soreness issues and had to be shut down.
“Both Graham and the team were optimistic throughout this process that his leg would improve enough to allow him to kick,” – general manager Marty Hurney said via Panthers’ official website. “Unfortunately, Graham still had pain in his plant leg each time he tried to resume kicking. These are tough decisions, and we discussed all options, but ultimately we decided to place Graham on injured reserve today.”
Graham Gano signed with the Panthers in 2012, after being released by the Washington Redskins. During his time with the franchise, Gano brought continuity to the Panthers on the position while establishing himself as one of the most accurate kickers in the league.
Gano has been especially efficient in the past couple of seasons, managing to convert 92.1 percent of field goals he attempted. He also made good on 91.4 of his extra-point attempts.
With Gano out for the season, Carolina is now expected to turn to undrafted rookie Joey Slye. The 23-year-old scored on seven out of eight field-goal attempts during the preseason which included an impressive 59-yarder in the game against Pittsburgh Steelers.