CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman could be out as long as a month after suffering a left MCL sprain, the team confirmed Monday.
One of six team captains, Coleman went down in the second quarter of Sunday's 33-30 victory at New England. Although he walked off the field under his own power, he did not return.
Coleman was wearing a brace and stimulating device on the left knee when he walked through the locker room on Monday, but he declined to comment.
Coleman is tied for fourth on the team in tackles with 20 through the first four games. He will be replaced by rookie Demetrious Cox, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati after rosters initially were cut to 53 players.
He will play opposite strong safety Mike Adams with Colin Jones also in the mix. The Panthers (3-1) likely will look to sign another safety or possibly bring Dezmen Southward up from the practice squad before Sunday's game at Detroit (3-1).
Cox was undrafted out of Michigan State, where the past four years he had four interceptions in 40 games. He had four tackles against the Patriots, playing 38 of 70 snaps from the second quarter on.
Cox didn't have a defensive snap in the previous three games, playing only on special teams.
The Panthers already were without starting cornerback Daryl Worley (back) on Sunday. He was replaced by Kevon Seymour, a second-year player acquired in a trade with Buffalo before the opener.
"Those guys are here because we believe in them,'' defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said. "When you see them out there, it's not just a mere fact that we're throwing them out there. Those guys get extra meeting time. They come in early, they stay late.
"One thing we always talk about is we're coaching future starters, and it's not the mindset of being on the practice squad or being a backup. Any point you should be ready to play.''