*Injury statuses courtesy of Panthers.com
- Even though Ron Rivera was optimistic earlier in the week, the high ankle sprain suffered by Jerricho Cotchery will keep him out of the Carolina Panthers’ matchup with the New Orleans Saints. They did sign Damiere Byrd to the practice squad which could imply that they are thinking about calling up Brenton Bersin but I think the likely scenario is that they will go into the game with only four wide receivers.
- I would expect that rookie running back Cameron Artis-Payne will replace Cotchery on the game day roster. After being inactive last week to create room for Kevin Norwood, Artis-Payne should suit up specifically because Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker are both a little banged up and listed as questionable. I would expect both will play but if it turns into a one-sided affair, expect the rookie to see some work late in the game.
- The team will be welcoming back defensive tackle Star Lotulelei who practiced all week with no limitations. Lotulelei suffered a foot injury in the beginning of August and has missed the entire preseason and the first two regular season games for the Panthers. The team is lucky in that they won’t have to give him a huge workload and can rotate in Dwan Edwards and Colin Cole to keep him fresh.
- The bad news though is that the team will most likely be without star linebacker Luke Kuechly for a second consecutive week. He is still working his way through the concussion protocol and while he did do some positional drills, he hasn’t been fully cleared. The organization will most likely err on the side of caution and give him another week to rest instead of rushing him out there.
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