- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers have scored a league-low nine touchdowns and average an NFL-worst 11.6 points a game.

And those ugly numbers were posted before the media relations staff had to switch to a tiny font to get all the players jammed onto Wednesday’s injury report.

Just how bad are things getting for the woeful Panthers (1-8) in this lost season?

_ It appears either a rookie sixth-round pick or a journeyman who was a full-time dad this time last week will start at quarterback Sunday against Baltimore with Jimmy Clausen recovering from a concussion. Of course, the rookie Clausen was starting because Matt Moore (shoulder) was lost for the season last week.

_ Tony Pike or Brian St. Pierre won’t get to hand the ball off to DeAngelo Williams to ease the load. Carolina’s top running back was placed on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday with a mid-foot sprain.

_ No. 2 running back Jonathan Stewart (concussion) and third-stringer Tyrell Sutton (ankle) didn’t practice on Wednesday, either.

_ The QBs could be without two of the five projected starters on the offensive line going into the season. Left guard Travelle Wharton missed practice Wednesday with turf toe and right tackle Jeff Otah (knee) is lost for the season.

_ Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason (knee) missed practice on Wednesday. So did No. 3 receiver Brandon LaFell (concussion).

“We started off a little thin and we stayed healthy for some time,” coach John Fox said. “Then over the last couple weeks the injury bug has bit us. It’ll be a next-man-up approach.”

It won’t be Williams. After rushing for 2,632 yards over the past two seasons, Williams‘ miserable year ended with 361 yards and one touchdown after Fox said he was still two or three weeks away from returning.

“It was healing a little slower than originally expected,” Fox said, “and we needed a roster spot.”

That was to promote guard C.J. Davis to the 53-man roster from the practice squad because Carolina had only six healthy offensive linemen. If Wharton can’t go, Mackenzy Bernadeau would likely start in his spot. Bernadeau was benched from his right guard spot earlier this season.

Williams, who wasn’t in the locker room when reporters were allowed in Wednesday, may have played his final game for Carolina. His contract expires at the end of the season.

“He’s a warrior and a competitor,” Stewart said of Williams being finished for the season. “He’s a guy who wants to compete, so it’s definitely something he’s frustrated by it.”

Stewart had little to say about his status as he recovers from a concussion that kept him out of Sunday’s 31-16 loss to Tampa Bay. He’s yet to pass the required cognitive tests, but said he ran some Wednesday.

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