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Panthers reserve LB Connor out for season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Dan Connor will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Connor will be placed on injured reserve, but the Panthers on Monday had not immediately signed another player to take his roster spot.

Connor was injured in Sunday’s loss to Minnesota and was carted to the locker room.

A third-round pick from Penn State, Connor played on special teams in the first three games.

Connor ranks as Penn State’s all-time leader with 419 tackles, with 14 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and four interceptions. He won the 2007 Bednarik Award given to the nation’s top defensive player.

But he was not as highly regarded by NFL scouts, many of whom projected him to go even later than the 74th spot where the Panthers selected him.

The Panthers had one of the NFL’s top rookie linebackers last season in Jon Beason. They also selected another Penn State linebacker, Tim Shaw, in the fifth round in 2007.

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