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Ron Rivera says field not to blame for three season-ending ACL injuries

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the practice field where three players suffered season-ending ACL injuries during training camp was not to blame.

Carolina lost wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin during Wednesday’s joint practice with the Miami Dolphins and Stephen Hill during the first week of training camp.

Miami lost safety Louis Delmas to an ACL tear on Wednesday.

All three occurred on the same practice field at Wofford College, where the Panthers utilize three fields.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with the turf,’’ Rivera said.

Benjamin tore the ACL in his left knee while making a routine cut on a one-on-one pass drill.

“It looked like he got on his foot a little awkward, and so he shifted his weight and that’s where it happened,’’ Rivera said.

Rivera said Delmas’ injury occurred when the safety transitioned from backpedaling. Hill came down awkwardly on his knee after going up for a pass.

“It’s unfortunate, because these are quality football players,’’ Rivera said.

Rivera said the initial diagnosis on Benjamin’s injury showed no signs of other ligament damage.

“You never know for sure until the surgery is done,’’ he said. “We’re expecting it to be a pretty good progress.’’

Rivera said doctors may wait a couple of weeks to let the swelling go down before performing the surgery.