News: An MRI shows Panthers' backup running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee in Sunday night's 31-13 loss to New Orleans.
Impact: Stewart was injured when tackled in the lower right leg by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in the third quarter at the Superdome. It's been a rough season for Stewart, who missed the first seven games of the year on the physically unable to perform list with an ankle injury.
News: Williams' teammate, Jonathan Stewart, has a torn MCL in his right knee, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports
Impact: While Mike Tolbert is still around to see some change-of-pace action, Stewart's injury paves the way for Williams to see added touches for at least the next couple of games. The Panthers face the Jets in Week 15, and while the Jets have been generally tough to run on, Oakland's Marcel Reece recorded 123 yards on 19 carries in Week 14, albeit with 63 of those yards coming on one play.
News: Stewart has a torn MCL in his right knee, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: The report notes that Stewart won't play for the next couple of games, but he will be evaluated in 10 days and could conceivably return to action as soon as Week 17. In the meantime, starter DeAngelo Williams figures to be in line for added carries in Stewart's absence.
News: Smith had six catches for 49 yards and a TD against the Saints on Sunday.
Impact: The reception total matched a season high and he also snapped a six-game TD drought.
News: Newton was 22 of 34 passing for 160 yards with a TD on Sunday.
Impact: Newton, who rushed six times for 48 yards, has thrown seven TDs in the last four games.
News: The Panthers believe Stewart suffered a torn MCL against New Orleans on Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter report.
Impact: If Stewart's Monday MRI confirms this suspicion, it's difficult to see him playing again in 2013. DeAngelo Williams will get a modest boost in his workload if Stewart is unable to contribute from here.
News: Stewart will undergo an MRI on his right knee Monday, ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Stewart's injury was initially referred to as a knee contusion, but later it was indicated by the Panthers that it could be more serious. If Stewart is forced to miss time, which is where this situation seems to be trending, then DeAngelo Williams would be in line to see more touches down the stretch, along with fullback Mike Tolbert.
Luke Kuechly - #59 - Linebacker - 6'3" - 235lbs
News: Kuechly made 11 tackles (10 solo) in Sunday's loss to the Saints.
Impact: Kuechly has now totaled double-digit tackles in four game this season and with 113 stops (73 solo) on the year, he remains a very strong IDP play.
News: Tolbert (knee) ran three times for 12 yards and caught two passes on two targets for 17 receiving yards Sunday versus the Saints.
Impact: Tolbert was limited by a knee injury in practice during the week, but ultimately was able to play his usual role Sunday. The power runner could see more touches next week, depending on the extent of Jonathan Stewart's knee injury, but outside of goal-line touchdowns, his fantasy potential remains minor.
News: LaFell had two catches on four targets for 22 yards Sunday against the Saints.
Impact: LaFell failed to get much going during Sunday's contest, which marked the third consecutive game he's gone for under 40 receiving yards. While he's averaging below 50 yards per game this season, LaFell is usually more involved in Carolina's offense than he was against the Saints, so a mild bounce back performance could be in-store next weekend.
Greg Olsen - #88 - Tight End - 6'5" - 250lbs
News: Olsen caught a team-high eight passes on 12 targets for 40 yards Sunday versus New Orleans.
Impact: Olsen provided quarterback Cam Newton a serviceable check-down option, after the Saints took away some of Carolina's deeper route-runners Sunday. The tight end's eight catches and 12 targets both marked season-highs, but his mere five yards per catch demonstrate just how vertically challenged the Panthers were in Sunday's loss. He'll look to make more of his touches next week, versus a vulnerable Jets secondary.
News: Smith hauled in six passes on eight targets for 49 yards and a touchdown in Sunday night's loss to the Saints.
Impact: Smith did his best to help Carolina's passing game Sunday, but the Saints blanketed the Panthers' route-runners pretty effectively, limiting them to just 160 passing yards. The wideout was often targeted on underneath routes, allowing him to tie his season-high of six catches, while also scoring a 17-yard touchdown on the Panthers' longest passing play of the night. Although he still hasn't topped 70 receiving yards in any game this season, Smith should find things easier to come by against the Jets next weekend.
News: Stewart ran once for 16 yards and also caught one pass for 16 yards, before leaving Sunday's game against the Saints with a knee injury.
Impact: Stewart entered the NFC South tilt with some ankle concerns and after taking a hit to the knee on his second touch, he was forced to the sideline for the remainder of Sunday's game. At the moment, the extent of Stewart's injury is uncertain, but if he misses time because of it, DeAngelo Williams should see more touches, with fullback Mike Tolbert getting involved as well.
News: Williams (quadriceps) was handed 13 carries for 52 yards and caught one pass for 11 yards Sunday against the Saints.
Impact: Williams benefitted from teammates Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and Mike Tolbert (knee) seeing reduced roles Sunday, in light of recent injuries. The duo saw just four carries between them, which allowed Williams to post his highest rushing total since Week 6. Along with that, his 13 carries were an improvement over recent weeks. With Stewart suffering a knee injury during Sunday's game, Williams could be in line for an increased workload next week against the Jets, but it would be worth monitoring the health of his peers to make sure.
News: Newton completed 22-of-34 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown, while also adding 48 rushing yards on six attempts in Sunday night's loss to New Orleans.
Impact: Newton had trouble stretching the Saints' secondary Sunday night, evidenced by a poor 4.71 yards per attempt that included a longest pass play of just 17 yards, his lowest single-game mark this season. Similarly, Newton's 160 yards were his lowest output, since Week 1 against the Seahawks. On the bright side, the signal-caller did not turn the ball over and, through a number of third-down scrambles, provided a meaningful contribution on the ground. Expect Newton to be more productive next weekend, when the Panthers host a Jets defense that has been particularly susceptible through the air this season.
News: Stewart left Sunday's game in the third quarter with a knee injury and is questionable to return, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Prior to exiting the game, Stewart had just one carry for 16 yards and one reception for another 16 yards. His absence should free up more snaps for Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams, though Williams was already dominating the touches.
News: Tolbert (knee) is listed as active for Sunday night's game versus the Saints.
Impact: Tolbert figures to see some passing-down work and occasional carries Sunday, but he's a speculative play in Week 14, with both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart also available.
News: Blackburn (foot) is listed as active for Sunday night's game, the Panthers' PR Department reports.
Impact: Blackburn, as head coach Ron Rivera confirmed earlier this week, will start at outside linebacker versus New Orleans. Although he's missed the Panthers' last three games, Blackburn will move rookie A.J. Klein back to a reserve role. However, with just 14 tackles (10 solo) through nine games this year, Blackburn remains a low-end IDP option.
News: Stewart (ankle) is listed as active for Sunday night's game versus the Saints.
Impact: Stewart will be available for Carolina's NFC South showdown, but with the return of DeAngelo Williams and the presence of fullback Mike Tolbert, Stewart will be working in a committee context Sunday.
News: Johnson (knee) is listed as active for Sunday night's game in New Orleans, the Panthers' PR Department reports.
Impact: Johnson sprained his MCL during Carolina's Week 11 win over New England, but after sitting out his team's past two games, the defensive end will be able to suit it up Sunday night. With a team-high 8.5 sacks this season, Johnson's return should help the Panthers apply pressure to Saints' quarterback Drew Brees in their NFC South showdown.
News: Johnson (knee) is probable for Sunday's game against New Orleans.
Impact: Johnson missed only two games with his MCL injury, which is great news for a Panthers defense that arguably has the league's best front seven when Johnson is on the field. He had six sacks in the four games prior to the New England game, in which he suffered the injury.
News: Tolbert (knee) is probable for Sunday's game against New Orleans.
Impact: Tolbert will be ready for his usual role as a passing-down back and occasional carry vulture. He saps the value of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart more than he presents any himself.
News: Stewart (ankle) is probable for Sunday's game against New Orleans.
Impact: Stewart will suit up and get a fair amount of work against the Saints, but he'll play off the bench behind DeAngelo Williams, who was named starter for the game. Both players are hit-or-miss fantasy considerations as part-time runners against a vulnerable run defense.
News: Williams (quadriceps) will start against New Orleans on Sunday.
Impact: Although the presences of Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert badly limits Williams' upside, it's somewhat reassuring to see Carolina still considers him the team's top runner. The fact that he appears to be near full health is also welcome news. New Orleans' run defense is allowing 4.6 yards per carry on the year.
News: Stewart (ankle) missed Thursday's practice, but coach Ron Rivera remains unconcerned and expects the running back to return to drills Friday, Jeff Darlington of NFL.com reports.
Impact: Stewart's absence from practice for two consecutive days certainly ensures wavering confidence for his owners, but if he takes part in drills to conclude the week, as Rivera expects, then Stewart may factor into the running back picture Sunday in New Orleans. The final injury report of the week could clarify Stewart's status, as well as those of fellow backs DeAngelo Williams (quad) and Mike Tolbert (knee).
News: Williams (quad) was limited in practice Thursday but relayed to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com that he "wants/expects" to suit up Sunday night in New Orleans.
Impact: Williams' practice reps have been held in check so far this week, but the continued absence of Jonathan Stewart (ankle) could thrust Williams back into the role of No. 1 RB, after sitting out in Week 13. Continue to monitor the Panthers' running back situation as the week draws to a close.
News: Tolbert (knee) was limited in practice Thursday.
Impact: Tolbert continues to practice in a limited fashion, but the running back picture in Carolina is hazy due to injuries to DeAngelo Williams (quad) and Jonathan Stewart (ankle). Thus, Tolbert could sustain the 7.3 touches per week that he's averaged the last three games, if one of the two is sidelined as Williams was in Week 13.
News: Stewart (ankle) did not participate in practice for the second straight day Thursday.
Impact: What Stewart is able to do (or not do) Friday will be telling, but while he has missed practice this week, teammate DeAngelo Williams (inactive in Week 13) has been on the field both Wednesday and Thursday.
News: Williams (quad) participated in practice for the second straight day Thursday.
Impact: Fellow running back Jonathan Stewart remained out of practice Thursday, which could set the stage for Williams to return to a prominent role in the Carolina offense this week after being inactive in Week 13. Of course, with the Panthers kicking off at 8:30 ET on Sunday, ideally Friday's final injury report will lend some clarity to the situation heading into the weekend.
News: Williams (quad) was limited in practice Wednesday.
Impact: Williams didn't practice last week due to his quadriceps concern, so a return to drills is an encouraging sign for his availability Sunday at New Orleans. If he does suit up, he could be the primary RB option with Jonathan Stewart (ankle - out) and Mike Tolbert (knee - limited) hobbled Wednesday. Expect some clarification on the situation as the weeks rolls along.
News: Johnson (knee) was limited in Wednesday's practice, the Charlotte Observer reports. Afterward, though, he said, "I'm still building up to [100 percent], but I'll be good to go on Sunday. It's feeling good. It's getting stronger. I'm just ready for Sunday."
Impact: Considering his statement, Johnson will more than likely be out there Sunday night in New Orleans, barring a setback. Thus, after being on the sideline for two games due a sprained MCL in his right knee, his return to the field appears imminent.
News: Tolbert (knee) was a limited practice participant Wednesday.
Impact: Tolbert's nine carries in Week 13 ranked second to Jonathan Stewart's 14, but DeAngelo Williams (quad) will likely return to action Sunday at New Orleans. Stewart was actually sidelined Wednesday due to an ankle injury, which could help Tolbert sustain a similar workload. The running back situation in Carolina could become more clear as the week draws to a close.
News: Stewart (undisclosed) wasn't in pads during Wednesday's practice, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: An ankle injury kept Stewart's practice participation in check last week, but the ailment didn't stop him from leading the Panthers with 14 carries during Sunday's win versus the Buccaneers due to an absent DeAngelo Williams (quad). However, Williams returned to practice Wednesday, leaving the running back situation in Carolina in some flux. Keep an eye on Stewart's status as the week rolls along, with clarification of his upcoming workload possible by Sunday night's game in New Orleans.
News: Williams (quad) was in pads during practice Wednesday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Williams' ultimate activity level is unknown, but after a quadriceps injury sidelined him in Week 13, any participation is a positive sign for his owners. In his absence, the trio of Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert, and Jonathan Stewart received between five and 14 carries, with Newton leading the way with 68 yards and and a one-yard touchdown run. As the week progresses, the RB picture could be clarified, but it's difficult to trust any Panthers back at the moment.
News: Johnson (knee) was in full pads at Wednesday's practice, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Johnson practiced for the first time since sustaining a sprained MCL in his right knee in Week 11, which bodes well for a return to action Sunday night in New Orleans. His eventual snap count remains to be seen, but if he suits up, he'll attempt to build upon his team-leading 8.5 sacks.
Mon. Dec 2, 2013 | STATS
News: Smith had three receptions for 51 yards in Carolina's 27-6 victory on Sunday, a franchise-record eighth straight regular season victory.
Impact: During the game, Smith moved into 20th in NFL yards receiving, passing Derrick Mason and Hines Ward
Mon. Dec 2, 2013 | STATS
News: Newton capped a memorable weekend by throwing for 263 yards and two touchdowns and "Superman" leaped over the pile for another score as the Panthers (9-3) defeated Tampa Bay 27-6 Sunday for a franchise-record eighth straight regular season victory.
Impact: Newton, who led Auburn to a national championship and won a Heisman Trophy with the Tigers, is enjoying the best stretch of this professional career with 13 touchdown passes and five TDs rushing during the win streak.
Mon. Dec 2, 2013 | RotoWire
News: Johnson (knee) is expected to practice Wednesday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: With Johnson out Sunday for a second straight week, Frank Alexander and Mario Addison got the majority of the snaps at defensive end. Johnson tweeted that he will suit up for the Dec. 8 game against the Saints, but his progress throughout the week should continue to be monitored. He currently leads the Panthers in sacks at 8.5, making him an upper echelon defensive end, despite his limited number of tackles (23).
Mon. Dec 2, 2013 | RotoWire
News: Williams (quad) is expected to return to practice Wednesday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Williams was sidelined Sunday against Tampa Bay, but it looks as though he is hoping to return Dec. 8 in a key divisional game against the Saints. He's currently the leading rusher for the Panthers with 610 yards but only has two touchdowns on the year. The Panthers continue to utilize all three of their backs, including Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart, and the running ability of Cam Newton also cuts down on Williams' production. If he can play Sunday, Williams should remain a middle-of-the-pack running back.
Dwan Edwards - #92 - Defensive Tackle - 6'3" - 305lbs
News: Edwards suffered a leg injury during Sunday's game and will not return, the Panthers' official Twitter account reports.
Impact: Edwards made one solo tackle prior to leaving Sunday's game.
Graham Gano - #9 - Kicker - 6'2" - 200lbs
News: Gano made both of his field goal attempts and all three extra point tries Sunday versus Tampa Bay.
Impact: Gano converted from 23 and 22 yards on his respective made field goals, bringing his season conversion rate to 18-of-20.
Luke Kuechly - #59 - Linebacker - 6'3" - 235lbs
News: Kuechly made a team-high nine tackles (four solo) in Sunday's victory over Tampa Bay.
Impact: Kuechly has now totaled 102 stops (63 solo) through 12 games this season. While he's not on pace to match his league-best 164 tackles from his rookie season, Kuechly remains a strong IDP option at linebacker.
News: LaFell hauled in three passes on seven targets for 36 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Impact: LaFell usually doesn't offer much from a yardage perspective, but as Carolina's biggest wideout, he's a handy red zone target. With now five touchdowns on the year, LaFell is currently tied with tight end Greg Olsen for the team-high.
Ted Ginn - #19 - Wide Receiver - 5'11" - 185lbs
News: Ginn caught two passes on four targets for 47 yards and a touchdown Sunday versus the Buccaneers.
Impact: Ginn's 36-yard touchdown catch Sunday gave the receiver a score for the second time in the past three weeks. After 10 targets last game, Ginn's four looks Sunday are on par with his usual usage. He's proven to be a nifty slot receiver in Carolina's offense, although he's still a modest fantasy value in most leagues.
News: Smith caught three passes on four targets for 51 yards Sunday versus Tampa Bay.
Impact: Smith's four targets Sunday were the least the wideout has seen, since Week 3 of last season. Most of that can be credited to good coverage from Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis, but Smith's 51 yards Sunday still reflect the range in which he's consistently produced this season. While his explosiveness has certainly faded, Smith's owners will also be frustrated by the fact he hasn't found the end zone since Week 7, making him considerably less of a fantasy threat than in years past.
Greg Olsen - #88 - Tight End - 6'5" - 250lbs
News: Olsen led the Panthers with five receptions on seven targets for 85 yards Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Impact: Olsen's 85 yards Sunday marked a season-high for the tight end. He's caught five passes in three consecutive games and has been targeted 24 times over that span, proving his consistent involvement in Carolina's offense. Another steady performance from the reliable Olsen, who figures to be important in the Panthers' NFC South duel at New Orleans next Sunday night.
News: Stewart (ankle) rushed 14 times for 39 yards and caught two passes on two targets for three yards in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers.
Impact: Stewart led Carolina in carries, in light of fellow running back DeAngelo Williams (quad) missing Sunday's game; however, he did very little with a season-high 16 touches, amassing just 42 total yards. Sunday was an opportunity for the veteran to take advantage of increased involvement, but Stewart failed to do so and is yet to exceed 45 rushing yards through five games this season. His fantasy value remains underwhelming, due to the Panthers' rotation of runners.
News: Tolbert was handed nine carries for 48 rushing yards and caught three passes on four targets for 41 receiving yards Sunday versus Tampa Bay.
Impact: Tolbert definitely benefited from fellow ball-carrier DeAngelo Williams (quad) missing Sunday's game. The fullback achieved season-high marks in both rushing and receiving yards Sunday. With a performance like that, it's likely Tolbert will be featured in Carolina's offense regardless of Williams' availability next Sunday night at New Orleans, but his fantasy potential is still limited by the Panthers' preferred committee running approach.
News: Newton went 18-of-29 for 263 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers. He also ran five times for 68 yards and another score.
Impact: Newton bounced back from a poor passing performance last week by throwing for his second highest yardage total this season Sunday. Along with that, his 68 rushing yards marked a season best and included yet another ground score, Newton's sixth of the campaign. The signal-caller had a hand in each of Carolina's three touchdowns Sunday and now boasts an incredible eight game win streak. He'll look to continue his strong play in an NFC South showdown, against an improved Saints defense next Sunday night.
Sun. Dec 1, 2013 | STATS
News: Jonathan Stewart will get the start Sunday for Carolina (8-3) in his place, and rookie running back Kenjon Barner is active and expected to play.
Impact: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is inactive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a bruised quadriceps.
Sun. Dec 1, 2013 | STATS
News: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is inactive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a bruised quadriceps.
Impact: Jonathan Stewart will get the start Sunday for Carolina (8-3) in his place, and rookie running back Kenjon Barner is active and expected to play.
News: Blackburn (foot) is inactive for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Blackburn will miss a third consecutive game. We'll revisit his status next week, leading up to the Panthers' big Dec. 8 matchup with the Saints.
News: Williams (quad) is inactive for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: With Williams out, the Panthers will rely on Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, who are both active, despite being listed as questionable. Williams will set his sights on a possible return Dec. 8 at New Orleans.
News: Tolbert (knee) is active for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: With DeAngelo Williams (quad) inactive, Jonathan Stewart and Tolbert will handle the rushing duties for Carolina. The two will likely split carries, though it is worth noting that Tolbert has had double-digit carries in a game just once all season. He'll be squaring off against a Buccaneers run defense that has not been playing as well recently, as its No. 9 ranking indicates.
News: Stewart (ankle) is active for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: DeAngelo Williams (quad) is inactive, leaving Stewart and Mike Tolbert as the Panthers' running backs. They'll likely share carries, though Stewart could get a bigger chunk of the pie, especially if he has the hot hand early. Although the Buccaneers' run defense ranks ninth in the league, they have been vulnerable recently, giving up 100-plus yards in back-to-back games against the Lions and Falcons.
News: Smith (knee) is active for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: After logging a full practice on Friday, Smith does not have any injury concerns heading into this matchup, against the Bucs' 21st-ranked pass defense. He had just four catches for 42 yards in the first matchup with Tampa this season, though a hobbled Darrelle Revis could help Smith's cause this time around.
News: Williams (quad) is looking very doubtful as Sunday's game against the Buccaneers approaches, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Impact: Meanwhile, fellow backs Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are on track to play Sunday, despite being listed as questionable. We'll await confirmation of the composition of the Panthers' Week 13 backfield, as Sunday's 1:00 ET kickoff approaches, but it looks like Williams owners should make alternate lineup arrangements.
News: Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers will decide on Williams' status for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay by Saturday morning, Charlotte Observer writer Joseph Person reports.
Impact: It generally sounds as if Williams isn't a good bet to play Sunday, as Rivera had no qualms about indicating his expectation that Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolber would be active despite their injuries. He offered no such optimism for Williams. It appears his status will be decided some time relatively early in the day Saturday, in any case.
News: Coach Ron Rivera expects Tolbert (knee) to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Charlotte Observer writer Joseph Person reports.
Impact: Tolbert would be the favorite to start alongside Jonathan Stewart if DeAngelo Williams (quadriceps) sits out. Williams' status is expected to be determined Saturday morning.
News: Coach Ron Rivera expect Stewart (ankle) to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Charlotte Observer writer Joseph Person reports.
Impact: Stewart would be the favorite to start if DeAngelo Williams (quadriceps) sits, though Mike Tolbert is also expected to play and would steal his usual number of snaps. Williams' status is expected to be decided Saturday morning.
News: Tolbert (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Tolbert made limited practice appearances Thursday and Friday, so he probably should be able to play Sunday. The Panthers might be without DeAngelo Williams (quadriceps), so Tolbert's presence would be reassuring for Carolina this week in particular.
News: Stewart (ankle) is questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Stewart logged just two limited practices this week, but he's generally expected to play Sunday. DeAngelo Williams (quadriceps) didn't practice all week, so the Panthers will be more dependent on Stewart's talents than most weeks.
News: Blackburn (foot) is questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Blackburn was limited in practice all week, so a return is definitely plausible. He's the third Carolina linebacker behind Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, so his presence wouldn't make more than a modest difference.
News: Johnson (knee) is out for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Johnson is two weeks into his recovery from an MCL sprain. He's a solid bet to return within the next two weeks despite the fact that he didn't practice at all this week.
News: Williams (quadriceps) is questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Williams didn't practice at all this week, so he'll likely be a bit hobbled even if he does play Sunday. Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are the favorites to do the running Sunday.
News: Smith (knee) is probable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Impact: Smith's knee ailment is a non-issue, as he practiced fully Friday and is ready for Sunday's game. He was held to four catches for 42 yards the last time he faced the Buccaneers, but hopefully he'll be better this week, particularly with Darrelle Revis questionable with a groin injury.
News: Williams (quad) did not take part in Friday's practice, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Williams did not practice at all this week, so it's tough to envision him suiting up for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers. The Panthers will update Williams' status Friday afternoon, but if he is unable to go, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert -- who are both a little banged up themselves -- would share the running back duties for the Panthers.
News: Smith (knee) took part in Friday's practice, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Smith sat out Thursday's practice with a knee injury for one reason or another, but his participation in Friday's session is a sign he will be good to go for this week's matchup with the Buccaneers. It's not clear how much work Smith was able to get in Friday, but expect the Panthers to update his status when they release Friday's injury report.
News: Tolbert (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart (ankle) upgraded to limited showings, while DeAngelo Williams (quad) remained on the sideline. Owners with stakes in the Panthers' backfield should continue to monitor the situation, with Friday's injury report potentially clearing up Sunday's pecking order for carries.
News: Stewart (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Stewart and Mike Tolbert (knee) upgraded to a limited showing, while DeAngelo Williams (quad) remained on the sideline. If Williams is unable to achieve active status for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Stewart is next up in the running back pecking order, with Tolbert's presence potentially taking away goal-line threats. In any case, the final injury report of the week could provide clarity surrounding the backfield picture in Carolina.
News: Williams (quadriceps) didn't practice Thursday the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Williams remained on the side, while backfield mates Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and Mike Tolbert (knee) upgraded to a limited showing Thursday. The Panthers recently worked out a trio of backs -- Lance Ball, Brandon Jackson, and Jalen Parmele -- due to the injury woes, and if one is signed, Williams' lack of practice doesn't bode well for his availability Sunday against the Buccaneers. Keep an eye out for Friday's injury report, which could clear up the RB situation heading into the weekend.
News: Smith (knee) didn't participate in Thursday's practice, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Perhaps Smith's absence is a precautionary measure due to his ability to practice fully Wednesday. However, owners should monitor his status closely as Sunday's outing against the Buccaneers draws near, with his activity level Friday providing insight into his potential status for game day.
News: With Williams (quad), Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert all banged up, the Panthers worked out running backs Lance Ball, Brandon Jackson and Jalen Parmele, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports.
Impact: Though none of the backs were immediately signed, it does hint at concern that the Panthers' depth at running back may be taxed this weekend after neither Williams, Stewart or Tolbert practiced Wednesday.
News: Johnson (knee) didn't practice Wednesday.
Impact: Coach Ron Rivera is concerned about Johnson's availability Sunday against the Buccaneers, but MCL sprains typically keep a player out multiple weeks, which seems to be coming to pass with his injury. Johnson's status could be confirmed well before the weekend commences.
News: Stewart didn't participate in Wednesday's practice due to an ankle injury.
Impact: Stewart is dealing with an ailing ankle, the severity of which is currently unclear. However, fellow backs DeAngelo Williams (quad) and Mike Tolbert (knee) were also held out of practice, leaving much doubt surrounding the Panthers' backfield. Expect the situation to clear up as the week goes on.
News: Williams didn't take part in Wednesday's practice due to a quadriceps injury.
Impact: The severity of Williams' quad ailment is unknown at the moment, but he was joined on the side at practice by fellow backs Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and Mike Tolbert (knee). As the week rolls along, the running back picture should clear up a bit, but for now, the situation is decidedly clouded heading into Sunday's game versus the Buccaneers.
News: Tolbert (knee), who didn't practice Wednesday, is "hopeful" that he'll suit up Sunday against the Buccaneers, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Tolbert's leg concern has turned out to be a knee injury, which he'd be unable to play through if the Panthers had a game on the schedule Thursday. At the moment, he's the third option out of the backfield behind DeAngelo Williams (quad) and Jonathan Stewart (ankle). However, each one was held out of practice Wednesday, thereby throwing a wrench into the situation in Week 13.
News: Tolbert wasn't in pads during Wednesday's practice due to a leg injury, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Impact: Tolbert suffered the ailment in his last run of the day Sunday, when he totaled 23 yards one four carries and five yards on his sole reception. The severity and nature of the concern is unknown, but his availability for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers may become known as the week draws to a close.
Ted Ginn - #19 - Wide Receiver - 5'11" - 185lbs
News: Ginn hauled in three passes on a team-high 10 targets for just 11 yards Sunday in Miami.
Impact: Ginn, after scoring Carolina's game-winning touchdown last Monday, was heavily targeted, while facing the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2007 draft. Entering Sunday's game, he had seen 10 targets in his previous three contests, so the fact that he matched that total in Week 12 is noteworthy, but his poor production will likely prevent him from nearing double-digit targets in any of the Panthers' remaining games.
News: LaFell caught two passes on five targets for 36 yards Sunday versus the Dolphins.
Impact: LaFell's total included a 29-yard reception that set Carolina up for a field goal as the first-half clock expired. With that gain against soft coverage and only one other catch, he struggled to produce Sunday. Along with that, slot receiver Ted Ginn surpassed LaFell with a team-high 10 targets, although he caught just three for 11 yards. In all, it was a fairly uninvolved game for LaFell, who will look to make more of an impact versus Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Mon. Nov 25, 2013 | STATS
News: Newton threw for only 174 yards with a TD and an INT in Sunday's win over Miami. He also led the Panthers with 51 rushing yards.
Impact: Newton has averaged 184.0 passing yards in the last three games. Has he turned into a game-manager, his fantasy owners hope that's not the case.
News: Coach Ron Rivera confirmed Monday that Tolbert suffered a minor (unspecified) injury on his final run in Sunday's win over the Dolphins.
Impact: Tolbert finished Sunday's contest with four carries for 23 yards and one catch for five yards. He hasn't scored in his last three games, after enjoying a four-week span between Weeks 6 and 9 in which he scored five times.
Fri. Nov 22, 2013 | STATS
News: Blackburn will miss his second consecutive game with a foot injury.
Impact: It's uncertain when he will return to action.
Chris Scott - #75 - Guard - 6'4" - 315lbs
Fri. Nov 22, 2013 | STATS
News: Scott will miss his third straight game with a knee injury Sunday.
Impact: It's uncertain when he will return to action.
Wed. Nov 20, 2013 | STATS
News: Coach Ron Rivera says the Panthers will be without three starters for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, including Johnson.
Impact: Johnson, who has 8 1-2 sacks this season and 21 sacks in his last 23 games, missed his third straight day of practice Friday with a sprained knee suffered in Carolina's win against the New England Patriots Monday night.