Dumervil escapes serious injury; Panthers fire ST coach

A day after having survived brief injury scares to key players Peyton Manning, Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, and Willis McGahee, the Broncos have dodged another bullet.

An MRI on the injured left shoulder of Elvis Dumervil showed no tear, and there's a possibility the defensive end will play Sunday against San Diego.

Dumervil suffered the injury while stripping the ball away from Panthers QB Cam Newton on the final play of the first quarter of Denver's 36-14 victory, and he did not return.

Robert Ayers stepped in for Dumervil for the remainder of the game, notching a sack, three quarterback hits, two hurries, and three stops. He graded out at +3.7 according to PFF, trailing only Von Miller (+9.4) among Denver defenders.

Denver will have a chance to expand their AFCW lead to three games over the visiting Chargers on Sunday; Dumervil had loomed large in the team's 35-24 comeback victory at San Diego, with two sacks, four hurries, and four stops.

The aftermath of Sunday's game was less kind to Carolina special teams coordinator Brian Murphy, who was fired after his unit permitted a 76-yard punt return touchdown to Denver speedster Trindon Holliday.

Holliday had also returned a kickoff for a score against the Panthers during the preseason, while he was with the Texans.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM