By Ted Fleming
The Broncos and Panthers will square off against each other on Sunday a little dinged up but Denver will be down a couple of starters in cornerback Tracy Porter, who is out with an undisclosed illness, and guard Chris Kuper is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Porter will miss his fourth straight game for what he called a “coaches’ decision” saying he was feeling good, however, he has not been cleared to play after experiencing the same symptoms – rapid heartbeat, dizziness, lightheadedness – that led to a seizure in August although head coach John Fox said it was not a repeat of what happened in training camp.
With Porter out, Chris Harris will slide over from the left side to start again although Tony Carter will see some action in the nickel (five defensive backs) and dime (six defensive backs) packages. Porter’s absence could give Panthers quarterback Cam Newton some shots down the field in a game he may have to match Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning score for score in what could turn be a shootout at Bank of America Stadium.
Manny Ramirez, a sixth-year pro out of Texas Tech, should take over Kuper.
The Panthers are hurting in all areas after their battle against the Redskins last week but only Antwan Applewhite appears out as he did not practice all week. Thomas Keiser sat out Wednesday but was not restricted Thursday and Friday and should be ready to go by game time. With Applewhite down, Keiser would be slated to take over as Charles Johnson’s backup.
The following is the injury report issued on Friday by the National Football League for the Broncos-Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday, November 11, 2012:
DENVER BRONCOS, 5-3 (** denotes starter):
** CB Tracy Porter (illness), ** G Chris Kuper (ankle)
** WR Eric Decker (thigh), TE Virgil Green (hamstring), WR Brandon Stokley (knee), ** RB Willis McGahee (knee), ** WR Demaryius Thomas (knee), S Jim Leonhard (calf)
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2-6 (** denotes starter):
DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring)
DE Thomas Keiser (elbow)
DE Frank Alexander (knee), ** LB Thomas Davis (knee), ** C Geoff Hangartner (knee), ** DE Charles Johnson (hip), ** RB Mike Tolbert (head), ** DT Dwan Edwards (ankle), ** T Jordan Gross (not injury related)
FOR REFERENCE –
Out: there is no chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Doubtful: a 25% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Questionable: a 50% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Probable: a 75% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Panthers news, see CBS Sports Charlotte
Ted Fleming is a freelance writer covering all things Carolina Panthers. His work can be found on Examiner.com.