The Carolina Panthers were without a half-dozen starters for Wednesday’s practice Wednesday.
Left tackle Byron Bell (toe), right tackle Nate Chandler (toe), receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee), running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh), fullback Mike Tolbert (chest) and linebacker Thomas Davis (hip) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera has varying levels of concern for each.
While Rivera seemed to indicate Bell, Benjamin, Chandler and Davis would be back at practice Thursday, he was less confident about his running backs.
Williams missed last week’s game with a thigh injury and hasn’t practiced since last Wednesday. Rivera called Tolbert questionable and said he would be limited at practice Thursday.
“DeAngelo did the running that we expected him to do,” Rivera said. “We’re going to see how he is tomorrow. They ran him pretty hard. He was pretty tired afterward so (Thursday) will be a real good indication as to what to expect as we go further into the week as far as game preparation is concerned.”
Carolina’s fourth running back, Fozzy Whittaker also missed practice with a quad injury. He’s week-to-week. It’s possible the Panthers bring up Darrin Reaves from the practice squad if they’re short on backs for Sunday night’s game, and the team also has utility fullback/tight end Richie Brockel in an emergency.
Receiver/returner Philly Brown (ankle), defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (back) and tackle Garry Williams (thigh) also missed practice. Receiver Jason Avant (thigh) and tight end Greg Olsen (calf) were limited.