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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Panthers Injury Report: DeAngelo Williams, Byron Bell, Thomas DeCoud

By on 10/29/2014 06:45:00 PM

The Carolina Panthers will have a few injuries to overcome when the host the New Orleans Saints Thursday night in a key divisional battle, but they did receive one piece of good news during the week:

Carolina's final Week 9 injury report is lengthy, but starting running back DeAngelo Williams was able to return to full practice Wednesday and is expected to play. Williams has been out since Week 4 with a sprained ankle, slowing down a Panthers rushing attack that ranks 29th in the NFL in yards per attempt.

The injury report is less positive elsewhere, as starting left tackle Byron Bell suffered a knee injury last week against the Seattle Seahawks and has been ruled out. Bell has struggled often during his career, but his absence leaves undrafted rookie David Foucalt to make his first career start on Thursday.

Guards Amini Silatolu (calf) and Trai Turner (knee) also remain sidelined, leaving an already shaky Panthers offensive line very thin. Nate Chandler was limited in practice all week due to a thigh injury, but he is expected to start at right tackle.

Safety Thomas DeCoud was unable to practice until Wednesday with a hamstring injury and is officially questionable to play. If DeCoud can't go, the Panthers would have rookie Tre Boston make his first career start at free safety.

Defensive tackle Kawann Short was limited in practice all week with an ankle injury and is questionable. Backup linebacker Jason Williams was also limited with a hip injury, but is probable to play.

Backup running back Fozzy Whitaker remains out with a thigh injury, although he wouldn't see much action with both Williams and Jonathan Stewart both healthy.

Wide receiver and primary kick returner Philly Brown will miss his second straight game with concussion-like symptoms. Brenton Bersin returned punts against the Seahawks in place of Brown, but looked shaky on a couple of separate occasions.

Slot corner Bene Benwikere will miss his fourth straight game with a sprained ankle to round out the injury report.

Williams' return comes at an opportune time for Carolina, as Thursday's contest against New Orleans is crucial for playoff positioning in the NFC South. Still, the Panthers' offensive line situation is a huge concern against Rob Ryan's aggressive defense.  

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