Panthers’ Jordan Gross underwent offseason ankle surgery
Ron Rivera classified the injury as a successful “clean-out” yet he wasn’t aware which of Jordan Gross’ ankles was operated on.
“It was time,” said Ron Rivera. “So they cleaned it out and he feels great.”
Jordan Gross started all of 16 games in the 2012 season. The former University of Utah standout Jordan Gross, who was picked in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Carolina Panthers, has missed only one start in the past three seasons. Jordan Gross beat out former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad as the team leader with most starts, currently standing at 151 games.
The 11-year pro Jordan Gross, has been lately rumored to be included in the Carolina Panthers’ plans of players whose contracts could be restructured for the team to break out of a crippling salary-cap situation. Teams have until March 12 to get under the reported $123 million expected salary cap for 2013.
The two-time Pro Bowler Jordan Gross has two seasons remaining on his six-year contract he signed with the Carolina Panthers on February 2009. Jordan Gross has a base salary of $8.7 million for 2013, but he counts $11.7 million against the team’s cap. While many have speculated that the Carolina Panthers could end up parting ways with Jordan Gross next season, Ron Rivera is in no rush, indicating that the 33-year-old is still playing at a high level in the league.
“I think he’s a solid performer and you want a guy like that on your team, too,” expressed Ron Rivera. “He’s a big-time leader.”
Ron Rivera also said that the Carolina Panthers met informally with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, which ended on Tuesday. Manti Te’o failed to impress coaches when he ran a slow 40-yard dash than anticipated and seemed to struggle in position drills. The 22-year-old Manti Te’o’s draft stock was already expected to fall after he became the victim of an elaborate hoax involving a fake girlfriend.
The Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly in the first round during last year’s drafts.
“With the success we had last year drafting Luke, I’m not sure linebacker will be a high priority for us,” said Ron Rivera.
But Ron Rivera indicated earlier in the week that the Carolina Panthers could be looking to further surround quarterback Cam Newton with weapons, by adding considering additions to their group of pass-catchers in a receiver-rich draft class.
"You're warm, but you know, what's going to be interesting is how things unfold once we get to March 12," said Ron Rivera, when asked if the Carolina Panthers were targeting Mike Wallace in free agency. "There's a lot of things that are out there that we have to really take into consideration. You know, we'll see how things are going to affect us when we get to the 12th."