The Carolina Panthers were missing a few key players from practice yesterday, and the most notable name on the list was DeAngelo Williams. Although fellow star running back Jonathan Stewart also wasn’t at practice, his ankle injury seems more like a regular day off for rest than an actual injury. Meanwhile, Williams isn’t practicing due to a quad injury, which is an injury he suffered earlier this season. Stewart has famously dealt with nasty ankle injuries recently, but the belief is that neither player is injured. Keep a close eye on their practice statuses, though, because rookie Kenjon Barner would be in line for a couple of carries if Stewart and/or Williams are actually injured. But even if they are injured, the injuries would almost certainly not be significant enough to cost them to miss any games.
So yeah, don’t be worried about Williams and Stewart missing practice yesterday, unless if either of them somehow misses Friday’s practice.
Panthers star defensive end Charles Johnson has the biggest chance at missing this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because he suffered an MCL sprain in Week 11 against the New England Patriots. Right tackle Marcus Cannon should have been penalized for his dirty leg-whip on Johnson. MCL sprains are nothing to mess with, but Johnson’s injury could have easily been worse. Ron Rivera expects Johnson to play this week, which is the good news. The bad news, though, is that MCL sprains usually cost a player three weeks (they vary significantly based on severity), so it’s probably best for the Panthers to hold him out against the Buccaneers. While the Bucs are much better than they were at the beginning of the season, it should still be an easy rivalry win for the Panthers. More importantly, the Panthers need Johnson to be 100% for the playoff run ahead.
Since Johnson didn’t practice yesterday, he won’t be expected to play this week if he doesn’t practice tomorrow, so keep a close eye out on his practice statuses for Thursday and Friday.
Fullback Mike Tolbert has been a touchdown machine this season, but he did pick up a minor leg injury very late in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He should be able to play this week against the Bucs, but we won’t know much about his status until he practices. If he doesn’t practice this week, then he simply won’t play.