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Injuries: Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart miss practice

The Carolina Panthers resumed practice Wednesday -- minus Steve Smith.

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The team's best receiver wasn't on hand for the session after missing last week's win over the Atlanta Falcons with a knee injury, Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer first reported.

It's no shock. Ron Rivera told reporters that Smith isn't likely to practice all week as he rests his sprained PCL. The team expects him to be ready for next weekend's postseason tilt.

Carolina didn't have running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) on Wednesday, either, but he's also on track to dress for the divisional round after tearing his MCL in Week 14.

Here's the rest of Wednesday's injury news:

1. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe has been cleared to play in Saturday's wild-card matchup against the Indianapolis Colts after missing the regular-season finale with a concussion, per The Kansas City Star. Bowe's presence, in theory, should help an Alex Smith-led passing game that ranks 29th in the NFL with a lowly 6.5 yards per attempt.

2. The news is less promising for Chiefs starting right tackle Eric Fisher, who didn't practice Wednesday after suffering a groin injury in Tuesday's session, and might not play against Indy, according to ESPN.com.

3. For the Colts, Darrius Heyward-Bey returned to practice after missing Tuesday's workout for undisclosed reasons.

4. The Philadelphia Eagles didn't have safety Earl Wolff on Wednesday because of the knee injury he's been dealing with for much of the season. Wolff still thinks he can play in the  team's wild-card clash Saturday versus the New Orleans Saints, per Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News.

5. For New England, guard Logan Mankins (ankle), cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (knee, shoulder) and receivers Aaron Dobson (foot) and Josh Boyce (ankle) all missed practice, according to the Boston Herald. Good thing the Patriots have a bye week to get healthy.

6. The Cincinnati Bengals announced that A.J. Green didn't practice Wednesday, but it sounds like he's just resting ahead of Sunday's wild-card showdown with the San Diego Chargers. More concerning, tight end Tyler Eifert (shoulder) didn't return to work.

7. How far have we come in Green Bay? Aaron Rodgers isn't even listed on Wednesday's injury report, according to ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky. "Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb look great (and) feel great," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. "I have no worries about those two."

8. Also for Green Bay, rookie running back Eddie Lacy was limited with an ankle injury, but he's in no danger of missing Sunday's wild-card tilt against the San Francisco 49ers.

9. One day after Carlos Rogers promised he'd be ready for Sunday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday the cornerback's sore hamstring was "better," per CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. Rogers missed Wednesday's practice, however. Defensive tackle Justin Smith also did not participate in practice, but it's normal for the veteran to rest during the week. 

10. San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) and wide receiver Eddie Royal (toe) did not practice Wednesday, per XEPRS-AM's Marty Caswell. Both players were held out merely as a precautionary measure and are expected to play against the Bengals.

11. New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (chest) and safety Rafael Bush (ankle) missed practice Wednesday, per ESPN.com's Mike Triplett. The extent of Thomas' injury is uncertain for now.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped the coaching carousel and looked back on 2013.

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