Notes: Stewart, Tolbert, Davis suffer injuries


CHARLOTTE – The good news is none of the injuries the Panthers suffered in Sunday night's loss to the Steelers are "catastrophic," as head coach Ron Rivera put it.

"That's the best thing," Rivera said.

But Carolina may be without running backs Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert as well as linebacker Thomas Davis when the Panthers face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

Tolbert suffered what Rivera called a "hairline fracture" in his knee.

"Tolbert will probably be a week-by-week thing," Rivera said. "He's probably not going to play this week, but we'll see how he is as we go forward."

Stewart suffered a "severely sprained" right knee, and Davis sustained an unspecified leg injury, although Rivera made it clear that Davis' injury has nothing to do with his right knee that has been surgically repaired three times.

"They won't practice," Rivera said of Stewart and Davis. "We'll reassess on Friday."

Rivera also added that running back DeAngelo Williams, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, is expect to practice on Wednesday.

LOSING AS A TEAM: Sunday's loss was particularly hard on rookie wide receiver Philly Brown, whose fumbled punt led to a game-changing touchdown.

But Rivera reiterated how impressed he was with Brown's seven-catch, 66-yard performance. And when Brown asked to apologize to his teammates during a team meeting, Rivera told him that wouldn't be necessary. Singling out Brown – even if he volunteered – would imply that the rest of the team played well enough to win, and that simply wasn't the case.

"Philly wanted to apologize and I told him, 'Don't apologize. One play is not why we lost the football game,'" Rivera said. "You win and lose as a team, and he has to understand that.

"A lot of guys made mistakes. A lot of guys didn't give ourselves a chance to win. And we have to look at ourselves as coaches and be honest. Did we give them the best opportunity to win?"

HELPLESS FEELING: As if watching a loss from the sideline wasn't hard enough, the fact that it was to the Steelers added insult to injury for wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.

"When you play your former team you want to be out there going against those guys," Cotchery said. "Then we ended up losing to them in the fashion we did. You're in that helpless situation where you can't do anything about it – just sit over there and watch."

Cotchery said his hamstring just wasn't ready to go on Sunday night, but he's hopeful he'll be back in action against the Ravens.

"I'm going to continue to treat it hard and try to get ready to go," Cotchery said. "I want to be on the field. I want to be helping the team."

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