Carolina Panthers’ Ryan Kalil to retire after 2018 season

Loyal Panthers center Ryan Kalil will make 2018 his last season in the NFL.

The center has spent his entire career with the Panthers and is a favorite among fans in Charlotte. Kalil will turn 33 in March.

This news comes just two weeks after Thomas Davis, a veteran linebacker, said this upcoming season would also be his last.

Kalil plans to return after a neck injury kept him sidelined for most of the 2017 season, along with a shoulder injury he sustained before last season’s training camp.

“I just felt way behind and I didn’t feel as physically ready for the season as I would have liked to have been,” Kalil said.

2018 will be his 12th season, and it will give him the chance to play with his brother, Matt Kalil.

Ryan Kalil said he doesn’t want there to be much fanfare around his departure and that he won’t have a farewell tour.

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Panthers coach Ron Rivera signs two-year extension through 2020 season

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera signed a two-year extension with the team, keeping him in charge through the 2020 season.

Rivera, who has been with the team for seven years, has led the Panthers to the playoffs four of the last five seasons. He also touts the best winning percentage — .576 — of all head coaches in franchise history. This season, Rivera led the Panthers to an 11-5 season that secured a wild card spot in the playoffs.

Having Rivera adds stability to the franchise as the team goes up for sale at the end of this season.

Although the extension announcement didn’t disclose what Rivera’s salary would be, the Charlotte Observer reported last year that his one-year extension rang up around $6 million dollars. That salary made Rivera one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers Greg Olsen breaks foot

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his foot during a 9-3 win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

The injury happened in the beginning of the second quarter, when Olsen said he planted his foot and felt it pop and knew something was wrong. An X-ray showed a break.

The tight end has been on a decade-long 159-consecutive-game streak that will come to an end next week.

“It’s disappointing obviously, I’ve always prided myself in being out there and playing, (but) sometimes things are out of your control,” Olsen said.

There is no timeframe as to when Olsen can be back to practicing and playing this season.

“(We) have to step up and not miss a beat,” tight end Ed Dickson said, adding that it is a huge loss to have Olsen out for any amount of time.

Panthers defense shines in 9-3 win over Buffalo Bills

The Panthers scraped together a win Sunday, beating the Buffalo Bills 9-3 in Charlotte.

In two games, the Panthers defense has only let two field goals through. The defense had their work cut out after the Bills racked up 190 rushing yards and 408 total yards against the New York Jets last week.

The Bills only got 176 total yards during Sunday’s game.

Although quarterback Cam Newton couldn’t connect for a touchdown, he still had successful drives, putting kicker Graham Gano in position for three field goals to secure a win for the 2-0 Panthers. The Panthers proved solid offensive advancements after gaining 255 total yards over 10 drives.

The Panthers didn’t leave the field unscathed during Sunday’s game. Tight end Greg Olson left the field in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Newton had a scare when he hurt his ankle in the third quarter, but he later returned for the rest of the game.

The Panthers will take on the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium at noon on Sept. 24.