Carolina linebacker Lester Towns had surgery on his right foot Monday and will miss the rest of the season.
Panthers coach John Fox didn't know exactly what was wrong with Towns' foot, which had been bothering him for several weeks. Towns was not active for Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Towns, a starter his first two seasons with the Panthers, was moved to a backup role this year. But Carolina has needed him the past few weeks since starting middle linebacker Dan Morgan is out with a groin injury.
With Towns out against the Saints, rookie Will Witherspoon made his first start at middle linebacker.