Panthers waive JT Ibe after dangerous practice hit left Keith Kirkwood injured

There’s one golden rule when it comes to NFL practices: don’t put dangerous hits on your teammates that could leave them injured.

Panthers safety JT Ibe didn’t abide by that rule on Tuesday. As a result, he found himself looking for work shortly after practice ended.

On a play in practice, Ibe was helping to cover receiver Keith Kirkwood. After Kirkwood bobbled the ball, Ibe came in and threw his shoulder into Kirkwood’s head as he went to the ground. Kirkwood had to be stretchered off the field as a result of the collision which you can see below.

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Ibe was kicked out of practice as a result of the hit. He was waived shortly thereafter by the Panthers, who confirmed his release via Darin Gantt of the team’s official website.

It’s hard to blame the Panthers for that decision. After all, Ibe was an undrafted rookie who was buried on Carolina’s safety depth chart behind the likes of Jeremy Chinn, Juston Burris and Kenny Robinson. He would’ve had to make the Panthers roster as a special teams player. Those guys are a dime a dozen in the NFL, so parting with Ibe after this brutal practice moment is sensible.

Kirkwood was moving his extremities after the hit, per Gantt. The decision to stretcher him off was made “out of an abundance of caution.”

Kirkwood missed most of last season while dealing with a shoulder injury. He played in just one game and made a single catch for 13 yards in his first season playing under Matt Rhule, who coached him collegiately at Temple.

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