Diggs, Hoover become latest Panthers starters sidelined by injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have three more key players sidelined with injuries.

Starting linebacker Na'il Diggs, starting fullback Brad Hoover and backup running back Jonathan Stewart all missed practice Thursday. Diggs suffered bruised ribs during Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and Hoover is experiencing back spasms. Stewart has been plagued by left Achilles' tendon pain since training camp.

Safety Chris Harris (knee) and defensive tackle Nick Hayden (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing the Atlanta game.

Starting tackles Jordan Gross (knee) and Jeff Otah (shoulder) also were limited.

Running back Mike Goodson sat out practice because of illness.

Wide receivers Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad did practice despite being banged up against the Falcons.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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