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Panthers starting LB Williams downgraded to out vs. Falcons

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jason Williams, the Carolina Panthers' starting weakside linebacker, has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons with a knee injury, further depleting a thin unit.

Williams moved into the starting lineup two games ago following a number of injuries. After practicing in full Thursday, he apparently suffered a setback Friday when he was listed as limited. The Panthers on Saturday moved Williams from questionable to out on their injury report.

Williams' backup, Nic Harris, also is out with a head injury. That leaves Jordan Senn and Abdul Hodge as candidates to start Sunday.

Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason also is questionable with a sore knee. He practiced on a limited basis Friday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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