Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers might have to shuffle running back lineup

Panthers head to Tampa Bay 3-0 with Jonathan and Joe

Charlotte Observer writers Jonathan Jones and Joe Person discuss the Panthers upcoming game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Panthers have started the season at 3-0.
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Charlotte Observer writers Jonathan Jones and Joe Person discuss the Panthers upcoming game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Panthers have started the season at 3-0.

The Carolina Panthers should have a chance to get their running game going Sunday at Tampa Bay.

What backs will be doing the running remains to be seen.

Jonathan Stewart (shin) and Mike Tolbert (groin) have yet to practice this week after getting injured in last week’s 27-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it might be Saturday until the team knows more about their status against the Buccaneers, who have the league’s 30th-ranked run defense.

Tolbert overextended his groin on a kickoff against the Saints, and said he’s still feeling discomfort.

“It’s been painful,” Tolbert said. “It hurts.”

Rivera said reserve running backs Fozzy Whittaker, Cameron Artis-Payne and Brandon Wegher all have gotten practice reps this week.

The Panthers also are dealing with injuries among their linebacker corps.

Luke Kuechly remains in the concussion protocol and it looks like he’ll miss his third consecutive game this week. Kuechly did light exercises on the side during practices last week; he hasn’t been spotted on the practice field at all this week.

Outside linebacker Thomas Davis was full participation Wednesday with a pectoral injury that sidelined him for the final defensive series against the Saints. Davis said he feels “10 times better” that he did last weekend.

Offensive lineman Amini Silatolu was in a walking boot after injuring his right ankle during Wednesday’s practice.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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