Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson expected to miss remainder of season with broken right leg

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson has a broken right leg and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, according to coach Frank Reich.

Thompson underwent surgery on Tuesday to fix a fractured fibula he sustained in the first quarter of Carolina’s 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

Reich said it’s hard to put into words how much Thompson brings to the team, calling him a team player and “a warrior, a guy who knows how to practice.” Thompson has four 100-tackle seasons in nine years with the Panthers and is considered the team’s emotional leader on defense.

Reich would not say who’ll replace Thompson in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game at Seattle.

The news is a crushing blow for the Panthers defense, which lost starting cornerback Jaycee Horn to a hamstring injury last week. Horn is expected to miss at least six weeks.

“These injuries hurt, but the train has got to keep going,” Reich said. “You can love your brother and feel bad for your brother, but at the same time understand we got to have the next man up mentality.”

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