With a win and some help from the Seahawks on Sunday, the Panthers will enter their Week 14 game against the Saints in a tie for first place in the NFC South.
They’ll have to get that win without defensive end Charles Johnson. Johnson has been ruled out of this weekend’s game with the Buccaneers as a result of the knee injury that sidelined him against the Dolphins last week. Mario Addison did well in Johnson’s absence last week and will step in again this week.
The Panthers may also be vying for that victory without running back DeAngelo Williams. Williams hasn’t practiced all week because of a quad injury and coach Ron Rivera said Friday, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that there’s “a lot of concern” about Williams’ ability to play. Rivera said a final decision on Williams’ status will be made on Saturday, and, for now, he’s listed as questionable.
Rivera does expect to have Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the lineup despite nagging injuries for both back and wide receiver Steve Smith should also play after returning to practice on Friday following Thursday’s knee-related absence.