KEYS TO THE GAME
Panthers: Smith remains in an air cast and will not play this week against the Bears. The question will be if he can go when the team returns from the bye week. That may still be a little early for Smith. ... RT Jeff Otah (knee) still hasn't practiced this year and won't play this week against the Bears. Otah has missed all four games, but the hope is he can return after the bye next week. ... S Sherrod Martin (concussion) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, which likely means he won't play this week. ... S Jordan Pugh, a rookie, is likely to start this week against the Bears, with Martin still recovering from a concussion. ... LB Jamar Williams (neck) practiced Wednesday but did not work Thursday. It's unclear if he's had a setback, but that puts his status for Sunday's game in doubt. ... WR Brandon LaFell is expected to start opposite fellow rookie David Gettis on Sunday against the Bears. That means the Panthers will have a rookie quarterback throwing to two rookie wide receivers.
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