The Carolina Panthers have struggled out of the gate this season, in the win/loss column and with injuries. No. 1 overall pick quarterback Bryce Young missed Week 3 with an ankle injury, cornerback Jaycee Horn is already on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and linebacker Shaq Thompson is expected to miss the remainder of the season after breaking his fibula vs. the New Orleans Saints. Now, another member of the defense will be out an extended time.
Safety Xavier Woods is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered during the 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, according to ESPN. Linebacker Frankie Luvu and cornerback CJ Henderson were also injured in Week 3.
Woods got injured on the first play of the second quarter after pushing Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf out of bounds following a 34-yard gain. He was originally listed as questionable to return, but eventually downgraded to out.
In three games played this season, Woods recorded 11 combined tackles and two passes defensed. Originally a sixth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana Tech, Woods signed a three-year deal with Carolina prior to the 2022 season.
The Panthers defense ranks No. 13 in the NFL in yards allowed per game (329.0) entering Week 4. Carolina hosts the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in a battle of 0-3 teams desperate for a win. Minnesota boasts one of the best offenses in the league, as the Vikings rank No. 3 in yards of total offense per game (406.0).