Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whitaker have been listed as out for this week. Ted Ginn and Kurt Coleman are doubtful, leaving the Panthers heading into an important last week of the season with young players who will have to make some plays to land homefield advantage for the playoffs and the overall one seed.
With Fozzy Whitaker out at running back, Brandon Wegher will be active for the first time in his career and sharing the rock alongside Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert. At receiver, Philly Brown and rookie Devin Funchess will likely be getting more reps with some Brenton Bersin mixed into the pot. Not known yet if Kevin Norwood will be activated. Bersin is also listed as one of the possible punt returners with McClain. Tre Boston will be filling in for Kurt Coleman at free safety.
Payne and Wegher are both rookies getting looks at running back this week, with veteran Mike Tolbert bringing the veteran presence. Cameron Artis-Payne has looked promising running the football and a lot of fans have been wanting to see what Wegher could do with an opportunity. He should get some chances come Sunday.
If Cam Newton can have a solid outing resulting in a win and clinching the overall one seed for the Panthers with these key offensive players out, he would almost surely lock up the MVP. Would be pretty hard for voters to deny what he's done.
By Tripp Morgan
Follow him @TrippMorgan6