Defensive end Julius Peppers underwent surgery on his right shoulder Thursday.
The 16-year veteran posted an image to his Instagram account following the procedure, writing that “everything went smooth and I’m recovering well.”
Peppers played in every game this past season and recorded a team-high 11 sacks, moving him up to fourth place in NFL history with 154.5. He wore a brace on his right shoulder at times during the season.
Peppers, who is not under contract for 2018, has not yet revealed whether he intends to return for another season. A source told the Observer that Peppers’ surgery was a labrum repair.
Peppers, 37, returned to Charlotte in 2017 on a one-year deal and tied for the team lead in sacks with 11. Carolina coaches have stated their hope that Peppers, a future first-ballot hall of famer, will return for another year.
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At the end of the season, Peppers said that he needed to take some time to reflect before making a decision.
Peppers was added to Carolina’s injury report the day before the Panthers played New England in Week 4. He played that game with a large brace on his shoulder, and was listed as questionable the following week. He didn’t miss any games in 2017.
He also practiced on a limited basis throughout the year, as the team gave him rest days to preserve his body.
For his career Peppers, who was selected second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Panthers, has 154.5 quarterback sacks. He’s currently ranked fourth in the NFL’s all-time sacks list, behind Bruce Smith (200.0), Reggie White (198.0) and Kevin Greene (160.0).
Peppers leads all active players in career sacks by a wide margin, with Suggs and Dwight Freeney next in line at 125.5 sacks apiece.
Ninety-two of Peppers’ sacks have come as a member of the Panthers, as he spent the first eight seasons of his career with the team before signing with the Chicago Bears in March 2010. Peppers spent four seasons in Chicago before making the move to Green Bay, where he played three seasons before returning to Carolina on a one-year contract last March.
In addition to being selected to play in nine Pro Bowls, Peppers is also a three-time All-Pro selection.
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