If I remember correctly, it was in the third quarter of an unspectacular day against the Jets that DeAngelo Williams went down with an unspecified injury. He later returned to see no more success in the fourth than he did in the first three quarters. It hurt but it hurt no more than Jake Delhomme's four interceptions and thus quietly slipped by with only a few moans from an unsatisfied fan base.
Being Williams returned, it seemed that all was well. A slight slip for Williams, possibly shaken up, but nothing to worry about - just an off day for the offensive line and, consequently, Williams and Stewart.
However, could that little slip creep up and smack us in the face? Quite possibly.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- DeAngelo Williams missed his second consecutive practice with a sprained ankle, which could leave replacement quarterback Matt Moore without the Carolina Panthers' top running threat in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Jake Delhomme sitting out again Thursday with a broken finger on his throwing hand, Moore is expected to make his first start since 2007.
Williams was injured during last Sunday's loss to the New York Jets and hasn't practiced this week.
Williams practiced neither Wednesday nor Thursday. Rather or not he practices Friday could determine his status come game day. Right now, it's not looking too bright.
What does this mean for Carolina? Perhaps not as much as it would for, mostly, any other team in the NFL.
While DeAngelo Williams is our #1 back and among the leading backs in the NFL, many believe that Jonathan Stewart is just as capable of filling the starting role and running with it. Well, he may have to do just that come Sunday afternoon in what could be the first start of his career.
And what better team to do it against than Tampa Bay? Stewart has faced Tampa Bay three times amassing 237 yards and 3 touchdowns, for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. Seems pretty decent then, right? Take into consideration that in the first of the trio of games, Stewart rushed for 12 yards and no touchdowns on 6 attempts for a 2 YPC average. In the two games following, Stewart put up 225 yards and 3 touchdowns on a 7.1 YPC average. Now, those numbers seem a little more like it.
Even if Williams doesn't get the go-head, I'm plenty confident that Moore will still have enough power in the backfield to feel comfortable. Also, with that in mind, Tyrell Sutton might just get his first bite of action at the half-back position.
How interesting is that? Not only would we get to see Matt Moore but we'd also get a glimpse of what Sutton has to offer.
Other players that did not practice Wednesday or Thursday that caught my attention are Tank Tyler, Captain Munnerlyn, and Dwayne Jarrett.
I'm not sure what is going on with Tank's knee if anyone knows what is going on with that.
The good Captain, however, is more than likely going to be out with a concussion. That brings the question to mind; will we see the likes of Mike Goodson? After being inactive for the past few weeks (either inactive or non-existent), perhaps he returns with a bang?
With Dwayne Jarrett missing both practices and Muhsin Muhammad having limited practice Wednesday and missing Thursday, I'm counting on one of the two - if not both - to be watching this Sunday instead of playing. That leaves the door wide open for Kenneth Moore and Charly Martin to step up and prove themselves worthy of playing in the NFL.
We could be getting a lot more of Moore than expected - a double dose, to be exact.
With Fox missing two of his 'preferred' receivers, we might also get to see Goodson line up in the slot to reduce heat on the second wide receiver. At least, that's what I'm holding out hope for.
I'm overly excited for the game this weekend. So much, in fact, that I'm very likely setting myself up for a huge let down. I'll even quote one of my favorite songs...
"...The fog has lifted, the earth has shifted and raised the gifted..."
Not only is our rookie-equivalent 3rd year QB finally getting a chance to prove himself but so much of our other untested talent could also see work should these injuries stick. I'm not advocating injuries by any means but, hey, it is what it is.