Kelvin Benjamin: Watching Panthers' Super Bowl season from sidel - | WBTV Charlotte

Kelvin Benjamin: Watching Panthers' Super Bowl season from sidelines

Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin during the team’s warmups before a Nov. 2 game against the Indianapolis Colts. (Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer) Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin during the team’s warmups before a Nov. 2 game against the Indianapolis Colts. (Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

He took the Carolina Panthers by storm during his rookie season, but 2015 has seen receiver Kelvin Benjamin sidelined after a preseason injury.

The Panthers’ top wide receiver tore his left anterior cruciate ligament during one-on-one drills in August at training camp and had to sit out the entire season.

"When I tried to stand up and walk, I couldn't walk, I couldn't put any pressure on it at the time," he told WBTV's Molly Grantham during a one-on-one interview. "Normally, if you can walk, it's not that bad. So once they had to cart me out, and riding out on that cart, I knew it was serious."

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In 2014, Benjamin had nine touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards receiving for his rookie season. His 2015 stats are empty.

Benjamin turns 25 next week, two days before his team plays in the most watched sporting event in America.

"That, that's going to hurt all over again. It'll open up some wounds," he said. "But it'll be exciting at the same time because deep down I know I still get a ring with the team."

He says early in the season, after his injury, he was feeling down about not being on the field. In the beginning, he stayed away, but he says quarterback Cam Newton told him they liked seeing him around. So Kelvin said he started coming back in the locker room.

Kelvin says he has learned by watching other big receivers around the league. But just watching, and not playing, has been tough.

"I mean it sucks, because I want to be out there so bad with the team," he said. "You know, you can just tell how much fun they're having and how much success they're having.”

As far as his own family, Kelvin has a 4-year-old daughter - Kelyiah.

"She liked coming to Florida State games, wearing that cheerleader outfit," he laughed.

This season, Kelvin has been the cheerleader. Even Sunday night, after the team clinched the NFC Championship, he posted a photo from the locker room, right in the midst of celebrations.

He's proud of how far he's come, often posting videos of workouts on Instagram.

"But now, now the fact that I’m moving around, I'm doing real good," he said. "You know I'm just looking at it as I'll be ready for next season."

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