Diggs (ribs) out; 3 others doubtful

Updated: September 28, 2009, 12:01 AM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C -- The Carolina Panthers will likely have a makeshift lineup against Dallas as they try to avoid an 0-3 start.

Linebacker Na'il Diggs was declared out of Monday night's game after missing his third straight practice Saturday with bruised ribs. Starting strong safety Chris Harris, top fullback Brad Hoover and defensive end Everette Brown also sat out the workout and are listed as doubtful.

The only good news for Carolina in its lengthy injury report was defensive tackle Nick Hayden practiced and is listed as probable.

Hayden missed the loss to Atlanta in Week 2 with a bruised left big toe. He is needed because replacement starter Louis Leonard is out for the season after breaking his left ankle against the Falcons.

Hayden was starting because Maake Kemoeatu ruptured his Achilles' tendon on the first day of training camp. The injuries haven't let up.

Landon Johnson or James Anderson will fill in for Diggs at strongside linebacker. Coach John Fox repeated Saturday that Diggs does not have a cracked rib, but he hasn't practiced since the Atlanta game.

Quinton Teal would start his third straight game for Harris, who injured his left knee in practice before the season opener. Harris said he then tweaked the knee in pregame warmups before the Philadelphia loss and was a late scratch.

Harris practiced on a limited basis Thursday, but the knee flared up again and he sat out the next two days. The secondary has struggled without him.

"Chris is kind of like that quarterback of the defense," Fox said. "His football character, he's a sharp guy."

Rookie Tony Fiammetta will likely start for Hoover, who hasn't practiced since the Atlanta game because of back spasms. Fiammetta, a fourth-round pick from Syracuse, dropped the only pass thrown his way in his NFL debut last Sunday.

Brown, Carolina's second-round pick from Florida State, injured his ankle in practice Thursday. His absence would further deplete a struggling defensive line which has managed only two sacks in two games.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press