Williams was ruled out on Wednesday following an ankle injury during the first half of the Panthers' 38-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week. The ankle sprain required a cast which was scheduled to be removed today. He missed two games earlier this season while recovering from a thigh injury. In two games, he has 25 carries for 106 yards.
Stewart has a sprained knee and is doubtful to play, but Rivera said he made a big step forward during Friday's practice. Stewart left the Panthers' Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a knee injury and did not play last week against the Baltimore Ravens. He has 29 carries for 88 yards with one touchdown this season. Ankle injuries and a torn MCL limited him to a combined 15 games the last two seasons.
The Panthers have several injured running backs. Fullback Mike Tolbert was placed on injured reserve/designated to return last week with a fractured knee. Tolbert is eligible to return in Week 13. Backup running back Fozzy Whittaker said he will play Sunday despite a quad injury. The Panthers signed Chris Ogbonnaya on Monday for added depth.
The Panthers rank 29th in the league with 284 rushing yards and only have one touchdown on the ground. Carolina is 25th in total offense and is averaging 18.2 points per game.
Rivera also announced defensive end Charles Johnson is listed as probable to play on Sunday as he returns from a hip injury.
The Panthers host the Bears on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
- Paul Palladino