CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Coach Ron Rivera is confident he'll have a majority, if not all, of his injured players back for the Carolina Panthers' Jan. 12 playoff game at Bank of America Stadium.
Ben Hartsock, a big part of the running game in a two tight end set, is the biggest concern. Hartsock reinjured his knee in Sunday's 21-20 victory at Atlanta and has missed practice all week.
Rivera said Hartsock will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Wide receiver Steve Smith (knee), running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) and defensive Colin Cole (thigh) all are expected to be available on Wednesday when the Panthers begin game-planning for their opponent.
"They've been getting treatment, things are very positive,'' Rivera said on Friday. "The idea is to integrate them on Wednesday.''
Carolina (12-4) will face third-seeded Philadelphia if the Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints at home on Saturday night. If New Orleans wins, the Panthers will face the winner of Sunday's game between San Francisco at Green Bay.