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The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers slogged through a 20-17 defensive slugfest Monday night in Charlotte, a contest in which the host Panthers lost the game and a key player. Carolina linebacker Shaq Thompson, a mainstay on the Panthers' defense since their Super Bowl run in 2015, had his leg rolled up on after making a tackle on Taysom Hill in the first half. The officials took a timeout in order for the training staff to evaluate him before he was carted off of the field.? ?

Thompson never returned to the game, and now head coach Frank Reich confirmed that the 29-year-old, nine-year veteran suffered a fractured fibula injury. Reich delivered the news at his press conference on Tuesday.

"I am unfortunately able to confirm that it is a fractured fibula, and he did have a successful surgery this morning," Reich said Tuesday. "He is doing well, but he will likely miss the remainder of the season. Tough loss. He is obviously a great player and our emotional leader. I know our guys will pick it up for him, and I know he is behind us and supporting us in every way he can."

Thompson is the second-most tenured player on the now 0-2 Panthers behind only the team's 37-year-old long snapper J.J. Jansen, a 15-year vet who was been with the team since 2009.?