Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano’s knee injury doesn’t seem to be getting better, and he could land on injured reserve for the first half of the season, NFL Network reported Thursday.
Gano, who finished the 2018 campaign on IR with a knee injury, has not kicked at all during the preseason, with Joey Slye handling those duties. Slye entered Thursday 6 for 6, including makes of 55 and 54 yards, then drilled a 59-yard field goal in the preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If the Panthers place Gano on IR after the cutdown to a 53-man roster, they could designate him to return after an eight-week absence. If they place him on IR before the cutdown deadline (4 p.m. ET on Saturday), he would miss the whole 2019 season.
A Pro Bowler after making 29 of 30 field-goal attempts in 2017, Gano made 14 of 16 in 12 games last season before his knee injury. He has hit 82.1 percent of attempts in his career but 93.5 percent over the last two seasons.
Slye, 23, is an undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech.