Carolina Panthers star running back DeAngelo Williams missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a quadriceps injury he suffered last week in the Thursday night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Williams’s quad injury was never considered serious, and he was expected to miss some practice time but return to play this week. The Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones reports that Williams returned to practice today, which means that he won’t be missing this week’s rivalry game against the Atlanta Falcons.
It’s good to hear that Williams is officially back at practice, and that seals his fate for this week’s game; he’s playing. How many carries he gets, though, will depend on how much the Panthers use fellow star RB Jonathan Stewart, who will finally make his season debut this week after being stashed on the PUP list with severe and nagging ankle injuries.
Williams has 477 rushing yards this season, but his play has tailed off since his three huge games to open up the 2013 season. He’s still running the ball pretty well, though, but it will be interesting to see how many carries he loses with Stewart back. I expect the Panthers to be cautious with Stewart in his first game back, because he is now one of the most injury-prone players in the league due to his recurring ankle woes. Williams will “get his” this week, and let’s hope that he can start playing like he did from weeks one to three and that Stewart can finally get back on track.