The running back crisis in Carolina might not be as extreme as described.
Coach Ron Rivera is expecting starter DeAngelo Williams to return to practice after missing the past two games with a thigh injury, a team source said.
The Panthers lost Jonathan Stewart to a sprained knee that is to be re-examined Friday and backup Mike Tolbert to a hairline fracture in his leg. Tolbert was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list Tuesday.
Williams has led Panthers running backs in rushing for three consecutive seasons.
Carolina (2-1) rushed for only 42 yards on 10 carries against a Pittsburgh defense that had allowed 348 yards rushing in the first two games.