The Carolina Panthers have a key injury at the running back position worth monitoring closely this week, as DeAngelo Williams has not practiced at all this week due to a quad injury. His status for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is dicey at best, and fantasy owners would be best served benching the Panthers No. 1 back until further notice. Not only his is status not looking good, but the Panthers also have a big of a logjam at the position and Williams is averaging a mediocre four yards per carry this season.
According to the Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera stated that there is “a lot of concern” regarding Williams’s chances of playing this week. Since he didn’t practice at all, I think he will likely miss the game against the Bucs. Both Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart have practiced for most of the week, and they will be playing on Sunday without any lingering doubts. Stewart and Tolbert are only legitimate fantasy plays in deep leagues, since Tolbert takes goal-line touches but doesn’t take enough overall carries to warrant starting in most leagues.
The Panthers have also ruled out defensive end Charles Johnson, who sprained his MCL in the Week 11 Monday Night Football win over the New England Patriots, as he was the victim of a nasty leg whip from Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon, who was disciplined after the game despite not being penalized during it.