It’s been a long season for the Panthers but everything hangs in the balance this weekend when they play in Atlanta. The unlikely opportunity to make the playoffs has the potential to exonerate an underwhelming season for the Panthers. Faced all season with injury problems and misfortune the Panthers now have a chance to prove they are able to overcome all the adversity. On Sunday they will look to redeem themselves from a close loss to the rival Atlanta Falcons at home in week 11. Looking over the injury report this week it would seem that the stars are aligning for the Panthers to win. Of course nothing is ever so simple but the Panthers will field the healthiest team they have all season while the Falcons are hurting at several key positions.
He’s still listed as probable because of the injury sustained in his car accident two weeks ago but of little concern. Despite the injury, Newton looked great last week against the Browns. He only threw for 201 yards, but he looked very mobile in the pocket. He also gained 63 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown so the Falcons better be ready for Ace Boogie. If Cam is hurting at all you wouldn’t know it by the way he looked on the field last week, and the Falcons should be prepared for a full dose of our dual threat QB.
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After missing the last three weeks with a broken hand Williams is finally ready to go again and is listed as probable for the game. How much time he will see waits to be seen. In his absence his counterpart Jonathan Stewart has thrived. In the last three weeks Stewart has gained almost half of his total seasons yardage. He has gained 760 yards this season and 352 of them came in the last three weeks. There has been little talk about Williams future with the franchise as the season comes to a close, but should the Panthers lose on Sunday it could very well be his last game with the team. Given how injury prone he has been this year, coupled with his age and lack of production, the Panthers may choose to cut ties in the offseason.
He has been a limited participant in practice this week after missing last week’s game with a knee injury and is listed as questionable for the game. Adarius Glanton played in his place last week and will most likely have his number called again this week if Klein can’t play.
Officially listed as questionable with a quadriceps injury but widely expected to be out. Jackson hasn’t practiced all week and despite the teams decision to only list him as questionable they have promoted running back Jerome Smith from the practice squad. The perceived need for another running back suggests Jackson won’t play. In his absence the Falcons will have to rely more on Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman.
Listed as questionable for the game with a hip injury. Jones missed most of practice this week with the injury but that means little when he didn’t practice at all last week before catching 7 passes for 108 yards against the Saints. Jones is a dominant player who can’t be taken for granted even when playing injured.
Listed as probable for the game with an ankle injury. White is no stranger to playing through the pain as he has proven his toughness time and time again in the past. However, any injury to him must be of some concern to the Falcons with their number one playmaker Julio Jones facing 50-50 odds to play.
The dynamic number three receiver for the Falcons is probable for the game with a foot injury. While expected to play his injury adds to the problems the Falcons are facing at the receiver position.
It’s win or go home this weekend. In pure pregame optimism it’s easy to say the injury report suggests the Carolina Panthers are in a clear advantage. The Falcons have some injuries at key positions and it could be just enough to give the Panthers the upper hand. However, injured or not guys like Julio Jones and Roddy White can’t be taken for granted. There is too much riding on this game as the winner gets a home playoff game and a chance to make a run at the ultimate prize in the game. The Panthers have been on a roll in he last few weeks. They have every opportunity to control their own destiny now and have a chance to do so with the best bill of health they have had all season.