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Panthers Have One RB Back, One Gone For Big Game With Saints

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By Danny Cox

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks downfield to pass against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 2, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Credit, Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The big showdown for this weekend will have an NFC South battle as the Carolina Panthers travel to take on the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Carolina can hold its own with any team in the NFL, but luck is on their side this week as their injury report may be long but it isn’t bad.

Only one player is listed as out for the game with the Saints and that is offensive guard Chris Scott, who has been dealing with a knee injury for a few weeks. It is not a surprise that Scott is out, and Travis Bond should take his spot while splitting reps with Geoff Hangartner.

The biggest loss will likely be that of running back Jonathan Stewart, who is listed as doubtful with the ankle injury that has had him miss the majority of the season. Stewart just wasn’t 100 percent when he came back a few weeks ago, and it is showing now.

Good news for the Panthers is that even though Stewart most likely won’t play, running back DeAngelo Williams will be back.

Williams was out last week with a painful quad, but he returned to the practice field this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, Williams was limited, but he was a full-go on Friday. Stewart is listed as a game-time decision even though he is doubtful. He missed practiced entirely early in the week, but was out there on Friday.

Offensively, backup tight end Ben Hartsock should be ready to play as needed for the Panthers as his knee is doing much better than in recent weeks. Hartsock practiced fully on Friday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday.

A big piece will return to the Panthers defense though, as defensive end Charles Johnson will be on the field to face off with the Saints this Sunday night. He practiced on a limited basis early in the week but was a full-go on Friday. That is great news for the Panthers as his pass rush will be needed to get after Drew Brees.

The Panthers appear banged up by looking at the lengthy injury report, but hardly any of the injuries are any more than some bumps and nicks. Sunday is going to be a big test and they need every healthy body that they can get.

Out:

  • G Chris Scott – Knee

Doubtful:

  • RB Jonathan Stewart – Ankle

Probable:

  • T Nate Chadler – Knee
  • DT Dwan Edwards – Non-Injury
  • T Jordan Gross – Non-Injury
  • TE Ben Hartsock – Knee
  • DE Charles Johnson – Knee
  • FB Mike Tolbert – Knee
  • G Travelle Wharton – Non-Injury
  • RB DeAngelo Williams – Quad

For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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