Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil and linebacker Shaq Thompson are doubtful for Monday night’s game, and the team’s history with those designations don’t spell good things for their availability against the Indianapolis Colts.
No Panthers player has played in a week where they were listed as doubtful since defensive tackle Colin Cole did it at the end of the 2013 season.
In NFL parlance, the doubtful designation means there’s at least a 75 percent chance the player will not play.
Kalil injured his ankle last week against the Eagles and has not practiced at all this week. Thompson sprained his knee against the Seahawks, and though Panthers coach Ron Rivera was encouraged about his improvement, Thompson still has not practiced.
“It’s a game-time decision,” Rivera said Saturday. “Shaq had a pretty good day (Friday) and that’s why he’s listed as doubtful. And Kalil, he’s just plugging along.”
If Kalil does not play, veteran Fernando Velasco will start in his place. The Panthers signed Velasco earlier this year after he was with the team last year. Center/guard Chris Scott will be the primary backup.
Defensive end Mario Addison (shoulder) and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (ankle) are out for the Indianapolis game.
Rookie tackle Daryl Williams is slated to play for the first time since he sprained his knee on a field-goal attempt in Week 1.
The Panthers plan to get him an offensive series in the first half and another in the second half.
“He’s a young guy that we had hopes for and plans for,” said Rivera of the team’s fourth-round pick. “You just never know if somebody else is going to get hurt. So you want to make sure those young guys have gotten some quality reps.”