Ankle injures render Panthers' Otah, Kalil doubtful against Cardinals

Updated: October 24, 2008, 2:01 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers are expected to be without offensive tackle Jeff Otah and center Ryan Kalil on Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals.

Both starters were listed as doubtful on the injury report Friday.

The Panthers have a bye after Sunday's game, but coach John Fox said that doesn't play into the decision to sit Otah and Kalil.

"If they were ready to play and they were cleared and 100 percent, they would be playing," Fox said. "Again, it wouldn't do us any good to save them. There are only 16 opportunities and this is a key one that counts the same as the others. So that didn't figure into it."

Still, the team hopes both Otah and Kalil will be back on the field when the Panthers resume play Nov. 9 at Oakland after getting two extra weeks of rest.

Otah has missed the last three games and Kalil the previous two with ankle injuries. Jeremy Bridges is expected to start at right tackle for the fourth straight week, while Geoff Hangartner will start his third straight game at center.

The Panthers' offensive line has played well for the most part without them, allowing only one sack in the past four games. Carolina is coming off a 30-7 win last week against New Orleans, but ranks 21st in the league in scoring.

Wide receiver D.J. Hackett (knee) participated in Friday's practice and is listed as questionable. Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, safety Chris Harris and linebacker Thomas Davis practiced Friday and are listed as probable for Sunday.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press