NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that Star Lotulelei will be “out for the remainder of the playoffs, according to a source informed of the injury.” Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera seemed a little more optimistic on a conference call on Wednesday with Seattle reporters when he said:
"He broke a small bone in his foot, and he had surgery this morning to repair it. It's one of those things that hopefully we get the opportunity to move on [in the playoffs], and if we do, he'll get to play."
The one thing that is certain is that Lotulelei will be out Saturday night against the Seattle Seahawks which is a huge blow to the Panthers defense. The defense is going to be going up against one of the top rushing offenses in the league, led by Marshawn Lynch.
Luckily for the Panthers they have some great depth at the position and Colin Cole is expected to get the start alongside Kawann Short. This will also mean some increased playing time for veteran Dwan Edwards as well.
As for Lotulelei, this recent injury caps off a disappointing second season after having a breakout rookie year last year. He has battled injuries this year, missing two games this year, but started to play very well as of late. The last two games, he has had 11 tackles and two sacks.