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Panthers waive defensive back after hit that injured teammate in practice

Wide receiver Keith Kirkwood was carted off the field and loaded into an ambulance after he was hit by defensive back J.T. Ibe in practice Tuesday.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Carolina Panthers cut defensive back J.T. Ibe after a collision injured teammate Keith Kirkwood at practice Tuesday morning. 

Kirkwood was trying to catch a pass from Sam Darnold when Ibe made contact with his head and neck area. Kirkwood was on the ground for several minutes before being carted off as a precaution. Head coach Matt Rhule said Kirkwood had movement in his arms and legs after the hit and he doesn't have any pain in his neck. 

Ibe was immediately kicked out of practice for the hit. The team announced he was placed on waivers shortly after practice. 

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"That's completely unacceptable to do something," Rhule said. "There's bang-bang plays that happen and guys will hit the ground but you can't tee off on somebody. That's not what we'll do, it was undisciplined by us, can't happen."

Ibe issued a statement through his agent to reporters saying he was aiming for the ball during the play. 

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"Truthfully I feel terrible for the play," Ibe said. "I'm glad Keith is doing fine, but as a teammate I'm supposed to protect my brothers during practice and I didn't do that today, and I let the team and coaches down.."

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