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DT Kemoeatu Tears ACL; Out of the Year

Maake Kemoeatu lasted fewer than 30 minutes in Carolina’s first training camp practice Monday before tearing his right Achilles’ tendon, leaving the Panthers in disarray at the position where they entered with the least depth.

The mammoth defensive tackle’s Achilles’ tendon snapped while he was running in a non-contact position drill. He was carted to the locker room, then taken to Charlotte, where the tear was discovered Monday night.

General manager Marty Hurney was given the news as the team was on the field for Monday’s second workout. He had few details and refused to say Kemoeatu would for sure be placed on injured reserve.

However, that injury takes several months to heal, likely ending his season.

“Obviously he’s disappointed. That’s understandable,” Hurney said. “I talked to him after it was done. Just like anybody it’s a hard thing to deal with.”

The 6-foot-5, 345-pound Kemoeatu was the key cog in Carolina’s run defense, often drawing double teams and opening up lanes for speedy middle linebacker Jon Beason to make plays.

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