Panthers Reportedly Cut Safety Who Injured Patriots Wide Receiver

Robinson was ejected from both Patriots-Panthers joint practices


August 30

The player who sparked a massive brawl during Patriots-Panthers joint practices did not make it through Carolina’s final roster cuts.

Safety Kenny Robinson, whose hit on wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson earlier this month enraged the Patriots and left Wilkerson with a concussion, was released Tuesday, according to a report from The Athletic’s Joe Person.

Robinson was ejected from both Patriots-Panthers joint practices, first for fighting with Wilkerson (who also was thrown out) and then for celebrating his hit on the Patriots wideout, which occurred during a kickoff period.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule didn’t rule out cutting Robinson after the defensive back’s second dismissal.

“Obviously, we sent Kenny off the field,” Rhule said after the teams’ second joint practice. “I didn’t really see the hit, but I did see him standing over the player — and that’s not how we want to practice, right? Things happen in football. There’s some good, clean hits. But we don’t stand over somebody and taunt them. (Injury) can affect their livelihood. So, we sent him off.”

Patriots players took offense to Robinson’s post-hit taunting.

“I don’t think we should ever celebrate when someone is down and clearly in a dire situation,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said at the time. “I personally take issue with that — any one of my teammates. And I don’t want us doing it on the flip side of that if somebody else is down with clear signs and symptoms of a significant injury. So that was my issue with it, and that’s why I responded strongly the way I did.”

Wilkerson has yet to return from his head injury, missing the Patriots’ last four practices and last Friday’s preseason finale in Las Vegas. He was spotted in New England’s locker room Monday, however.

The Panthers selected Robinson in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 23-year-old appeared in 19 games over two seasons, tallying 18 tackles.

Teams must finalize their initial 53-man rosters by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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