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FB Fiammetta placed on injured reserve

Posted Dec 31, 2010

The Panthers tied a team record for the most players on injured reserve in a season when they placed Tony Fiammetta on the list Friday.

The second-year fullback becomes the 14th player to go on season-ending injured reserve. Carolina previously put 14 players on injured reserve in 2004. The number increases to 15 if linebacker Thomas Davis, who is on the physically unable to perform list, is included in the total.

Fiammetta suffered a left ankle injury during the Panthers' game versus the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 19. He was inactive last week at the Pittsburgh Steelers and had already been ruled out of Sunday's season finale against the Atlanta Falcons.

In his first season as the team's primary lead blocker, Fiammetta played in 14 games with nine starts and helped open holes that allowed Carolina to gain more than 100 yards rushing in seven consecutive games in Weeks 9-15. He finished the year with seven carries for 22 yards and five receptions for 34 yards.

The remainder of the injury news for the Panthers is mixed entering their final game of the 2010 campaign. Starting cornerback Chris Gamble will miss his fifth consecutive contest with an injured ankle. Another starter - wide receiver Steve Smith - is questionable with a calf injury. He did not practice on Friday after being limited Thursday.

The good news is that leading rusher Jonathan Stewart is probable. He was held out of practice earlier this week with a foot injury but progressed to limited participation on Thursday and full participation on Friday.

The rest of the injury report: defensive tackle Ed Johnson (knee) is out, while linebacker Nic Harris (ankle) and defensive tackle Nick Hayden (head) are probable.

Carolina will sign linebacker Thomas Williams from the practice squad to take Fiammetta's roster spot. He will back up Harris at weakside linebacker.

Since being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round (155th overall) in 2008 from Southern California, Williams (6-1 and 240 pounds) has played in eight games for the Jaguars, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. He joined the Panthers' practice squad on Dec. 15 after spending five games on the Bills' practice squad and two on their 53-man roster this year.

As a rookie, Williams saw action in six games for Jacksonville and registered three tackles and one forced fumble on special teams. In 2009, he had stints on the Seattle Seahawks' and Patriots' practice squads until being signed to New England's active roster for the postseason.