The Carolina Panthers were thrilled to get the first-round bye in the NFL playoffs because it meant one less game between them and the Super Bowl. They were also very grateful for it because it allowed a number of players to fully heal up.
The only two notable names that could miss this Sunday’s game between the 49ers and Panthers are Steve Smith and Carlos Rogers. While it’s unlikely that Smith will sit, it would not be a surprise to see Rogers not dressed. Regardless of what happens, both teams will be fine, and shouldn’t have to make any major adjustments.
The Minnesota Vikings host the Carolina Panthers in their first game since beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. The Panthers and Vikings have a combined 2-6 record with wins over winless teams. The Panthers are led by quarterback Cam Newton on offense and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly on defense.