Wednesday, August 5, 2009 Updated: August 6, 1:52 PM ET
Kemoeatu has ankle surgery
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers placed starting defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season the same day he underwent surgery on his torn right Achilles tendon.
The Panthers replaced him on the 80-man roster with undrafted rookie defensive tackle George Hypolite.
Kemoeatu was injured minutes into Carolina's first training camp practice Monday. Kemoeatu said Tuesday he was holding out hope of returning for the last month of the season, but the Panthers couldn't hold a roster spot that long.
"It was kind of expected," coach John Fox said of the decision. "Usually an Achilles rupture is that kind of injury. I think the surgery went well and we'll start the rehab process."
The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Hypolite played at Colorado and was waived by Jacksonville last month. He was on the field, wearing No. 75, for Carolina's second practice Wednesday.
The Panthers will likely continue to look for help at defensive tackle, an area they had little depth before Kemoeatu's injury.