Oct 21, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Panthers at Bears: Official Injury Report

Carolina Panthers:

Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Antwan Applewhite DE Thigh Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Jon Beason LB Knee Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Dwan Edwards DT Hand Full Participation in Practice Probable
Ben Hartsock TE Calf Full Participation in Practice Probable
Charles Johnson DE Hip Full Participation in Practice Probable
Thomas Keiser DE Elbow Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Captain Munnerlyn CB leg Full Participation in Practice Probable

Name Position Injury Practice Status Game Status
Jay Cutler QB Ribs Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brody Eldridge TE Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable
Alshon Jeffery WR Hand Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out

The Carolina Panthers face an uphill battle with everything against them this week. First, there’s the cloud over the team left by the firing of Marty Hurney and the distractions all week due to the fallout of that situation.

Secondly, it only takes a glance to see the Bears are a very healthy club at mid-season, with Alshon Jeffery being the only casualty with a broken hand. The Panthers just put Jon Beason on IR, and there’s a very real possibility he’ll never suit up for the Panthers again, depending on future GM’s outlook on things. Antwan Applewhite is out, sapping a little depth from the d-line and Thomas Keiser is doubtful. Frank Alexander is going to have to step things up even more to make a splash and help this defense slow down the Bears’ Forte, Cutler, and Marshall.

On the bright side, the Carolina offense has only one injury listed, that of backup TE Ben Hartsock, which means the backfield – including Jonathan Stewart, who has fought lingering problems all season – will be at full strength for the first time all season.

WATCH THE RUNNING GAME, folks. THAT will be the key for the Panthers in this game. DITCH the ineffective read-option, line Cam up UNDER CENTER more often, and run run run til daylight. If they can get the running game going early, that gives Cam a chance to hit some play-action passes and take off with the ball running when the situation calls for it, but if they get stuffed in the first half in the run, it’s gonna be a very, very long day for the Panthers.

I think the Panthers will have to put up close to 30 points to win this one, and that’s a tall order unless they get a defensive score or a couple of turnovers in Chicago territory. Everything has to fall into place for the Panthers to pull out a win here, but it’s not impossible. The first quarter should set the tone.

Thanks to nfl.com for providing the injury lists.

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

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