CHARLOTTE — The Panthers didn’t get the injury news they were hoping for before the game.
Neither linebacker Frankie Luvu nor safety Xavier Woods will be suiting up today against the 49ers, a significant blow for a defense that was already without Jeremy Chinn for the next four weeks.
Chinn was placed on injured reserve this week, and with Luvu and Woods inactive, the Panthers will be without three of their four leading tacklers today against the 49ers.
Luvu, who leads the team in tackles and has contributed to defensive touchdowns the last two weeks, has been dealing with shoulder injuries. Woods did not practice this week with a hamstring he picked up, but was listed as questionable for the game and termed a game-time decision.
The Panthers are expected to start Cory Littleton in Luvu’s spot, and start Juston Burris and Myles Hartsfield at safety.
Also inactive for the Panthers Sunday is wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
They wanted to get Terrace Marshall Jr. active, and Higgins hasn’t caught a pass this year.
Also inactive for the Panthers are injured wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, and tight end Stephen Sullivan, along with offensive lineman Cade Mays.
The Panthers brought up a couple of practice squad players Saturday to add some depth. Safety Marquise Blair took over for Thomas-Oliver on special teams last week, giving them another secondary option. Rookie wide receiver Derek Wright was also promoted for his first NFL appearance.
CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver