We know Chidobe Awuzie (torn ACL) won’t back until next season, but Mike Hilton (finger) won’t play against the Carolina Panthers Sunday either after not practicing all week. Eli Apple thankfully practiced in full Thursday and Friday, so he’ll return as a starter alongside rookie Cam Taylor-Britt.
Hilton’s absence will give opportunities to either rookie Dax Hill or Jalen Davis, who are their reserves at slot corner. Hill made his mark in college working out of the slot, but Davis has the experience factor working in his favor. We’ll see which one gets the most run on Sunday.
As expected, Ja’Marr Chase (hip) and Josh Tupou (calf) won’t play after not practicing. Stanley Morgan Jr. (hamstring) finally got a full practice in on Friday, so he’ll be active for the first time in two weeks to help out at wide receiver. La’el Collins (illness) and Tre Flowers (hamstring) are both questionable despite neither one practicing all week.
Joseph Ossai (ankle) practiced in full after being limited Thursday. He’s good to go along with Akeem Davis-Gaither, who missed Friday’s practice due to personal reasons.
Carolina will likely be without four players in safety Juston Burris (concussion), running back Chuba Hubbard (ankle), wide receiver Rashard Higgins (illness) and tight end Stephen Sullivan (illness). Burris, Hubbard, and Higgins have already been declared out, and Sullivan is doubtful. Cornerback Donte Jackson (ankle) is questionable after being limited Friday.