CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers rookie quarterback Matt Corral has a torn ligament in his left foot and is expected to miss significant time, according to coach Matt Rhule.

Rhule said Corral tore his Lisfranc ligament in Carolina’s 20-10 preseason loss to the New England Patriots on Friday night after his foot got stepped on.

Rhule would not say if the injury is season-ending, but did say the team is viewing it as a long-term injury. Corral is expected to need surgery to fix the tear.

The Panthers traded up in the third round of the NFL draft this year to get Corral.

With Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold battling for the starting spot at quarterback this year, the Panthers viewed this as a developmental year for Corral. Now he will have to develop by studying the playbook and watching others as they go though plays in practice and in games.

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral evades two Louisville Cardinals defenders en route for a touchdown during the first half of their NCAA College Football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday, September 6, 2021. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“We will do the best we can to help him make the gains that he needs to make,” Rhule said.

Rhule had said the Panthers had intended to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, but said the Corral injury could mean the team keeps only two if the rookie is placed on injured reserve.

“I hate it for him,” Rhule said. “I thought he was playing well too. … I thought I saw a lot of really nice signs early in the game where he found some guys that were open and did some really nice things.”

Rhule said the Panthers plan to play most, if not all, of their starters in the third preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.