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Carolina Panthers lose RB Fozzy Whittaker to torn ACL

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The Sports Xchange
Carolina Panthers running back Fozzy Whittaker (43) breaks away from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Anthony Chickillo (40) and Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Sean Spence (51) for a gain of 14 yards in the second quarter on September 3, 2015 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Carolina Panthers running back Fozzy Whittaker (43) breaks away from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Anthony Chickillo (40) and Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Sean Spence (51) for a gain of 14 yards in the second quarter on September 3, 2015 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Carolina Panthers running back Fozzy Whittaker's season is over before it started.

The Panthers placed Whittaker on injured reserve after he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee earlier this week, the team announced Thursday.

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The 29-year-old Whittaker was hurt Monday during a non-contact, on-field drill as part of the team's offseason program.

Entering his seventh season overall and fifth with the Panthers, Whittaker appeared in 43 games for Carolina, rushing 121 times for 536 yards and catching 47 passes for 397 yards. He scored four touchdowns and also was a valuable contributor on special teams.

Whittaker established career bests in 2016 with 265 yards rushing on 57 carries and 25 receptions for 226 yards.

The injury to Whittaker leaves the Panthers with four healthy running backs on the roster. Holdovers Christian McCaffrey and Cameron Artis-Payne head the unit along with C.J. Anderson and Elijah Hood.

Anderson, who previously played with the Denver Broncos, was signed as a free agent on Monday while Hood was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday.

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