Report: Panthers DT Star Lotulelei fractures foot, out for Saturday
The 25-year-old started 13 regular season games for Carolina this season, recording 25 combined tackles and two sacks. As a rookie last season, the former first-round draft pick had 42 combined tackles and three sacks while starting all 16 games.
In Lotulelei's place, eight-year veteran Colin Cole is expected to start. Cole has 28 tackles in 16 games and 10 starts this season.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told reporters Lotulelei had surgery on the broken bone in his foot, and that the hope is that the DT could play in the Super Bowl should Carolina make it that far.
Carolina won the NFC South with an 7-8-1 record and defeated the Cardinals 27-16 on Saturday. Lotulelei had three tackles in the game.
Lotulelei played four years at Utah and was named first-team All-America in 2012.
The Panthers face the Seattle Seahawks on the road on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs.
- Molly Geary