By Ted Fleming
It might be the only injury of note for the Panthers and it could be a big one of his replacement––DeAngelo Williams has a bad game. Running back Jonathan Stewart may be listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, but his chances of playing have been greatly reduced because he did not practice at all this week. He is nursing an injury to not just his left ankle, but his right one as well.
Stewart suffered a high left ankle sprain in last weekend’s win against the Eagles and reports also say he aggravated the same right ankle he hurt in the preseason which caused him to miss two of the first three regular season games. While everyone seems to be putting as positive spin on it as possible by saying the 25-year old back is day-to-day, however, the Panthers’ medical staff might have to be miracle workers is Stewart is even dressed.
Meanwhile, Williams is having a tough go of it this season because, like Stewart, he has the lowest rushing average of his career (3.2 to Stewart’s 3.6). Carolina has the 18th ranked ground game but that is due mostly to team leader and quarterback Cam Newton who has 446 total yards (5.1 average).
It will likely be a game-time decision on cornerback Captain Munnerlyn who has been bothered by a hamstring problem and also missed the week of practice. Josh Thomas practiced with the first-team and will be ready if Munnerlyn sits out and he will have to cover the Chiefs best receiver Dwayne Bowe who will be the primary target for whoever starts at quarterback.
Chiefs’ safety Kendrick Lewis will be a game-time decision despite missing practice all week with a shoulder problem. Eight-year veteran Travis Daniels or Abram Elan are on deck. Starting tackle Branden Albert should also be a game-time but could be closer to playing than Lewis as he did practice on Friday although in a limited role.
Center Ryan Lilja skipped practice on Wednesday and Thursday but was a full participant on Friday so he should be good to go.
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:
CAROLINA PANTHERS, 3-8 (** denotes starter):
DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring), ** RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle)
** CB Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring)
** QB Cam Newton (right wrist)
CAROLINA PANTHERS 2-6 (** denotes starter):
** S Kendrick Lewis (shoulder)
** T Branden Albert (back), ** LB Tamba Hali (knee), ** C Ryan Lilja (knee)
WR Dexter McCluster (head)
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
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Ted Fleming is a freelance writer covering all things Carolina Panthers. His work can be found on Examiner.com.