The Panthers are in need of depth at running back following injuries to their top two backs, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Williams sustained a high ankle sprain last Sunday and has already been ruled out against Chicago. He has a cast on his leg, which is scheduled to come off on Friday.
Stewart has a sprained knee and has not played since Sept. 21. He returned to practice on Wednesday, but did not participate on Thursday. Coach Ron Rivera said that Stewart is getting closer to being ruled out, according to Jones.
Whittaker had been sidelined with a quad injury. He practiced on Thursday and took all the reps he was supposed to, according to Joe Person of the Observer.
Last season, Whittaker had 29 carries for 80 yards for the Panthers.
The Panthers top healthy back is Darrin Reaves, and he, Whittaker and Ogbonnaya could all see time against the Bears.
Heading into Week 5, both Carolina and Chicago are 2-2. The game will be played in Charlotte.
- Molly Geary