Report: Carolina Panthers rule out 5 players ahead of matchup vs. Miami Dolphins

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The winless Carolina Panthers have ruled out five players — safety Vonn Bell, running back Miles Sanders, safety Xavier Woods, guard Chandler Zavala and tight end Giovanni Ricci — ahead of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

Carolina also has a few players who are currently listed as questionable.

Sanders is in his fifth season in the NFL and first with the Panthers after spending the first four seasons of his NFL career playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. He enjoyed a career year with the Eagles during the 2022 regular season, as he ran for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns in 17 games with Philadelphia and earned a Pro Bowl nod thanks to those numbers.

However, the 5-foot-11 running back has not been able to replicate that sort of production with the Panthers thus far in the 2023 regular season.

He’s accumulated just 190 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown across five appearances with Carolina this season (all starts). In addition, he’s averaging just 3.1 rushing yards per attempt, which is a far cry from his average of 4.9 yards per attempt with the Eagles last season.

Woods, meanwhile, has played for three teams — the Dallas Cowboys, Panthers and Minnesota Vikings — during his seven seasons in the NFL and is in his second season with Carolina. He totaled 86 combined tackles, 53 solo tackles, 33 assists on tackles and one quarterback hit in 15 appearances with the Panthers in the 2022 regular season. He also recovered two fumbles for the Panthers a season ago.

In light of the news that five Panthers players have been ruled out for Sunday’s game, the Dolphins now have an even more winnable game in front of them. Miami should be able to beat the Panthers handily, considering the Dolphins are at home and have one of the better records in the NFL at 4-1 while Carolina is playing as poorly as any team in the NFL right now.

After the Dolphins face off against the Panthers, they will play a much tougher opponent in the Eagles on Oct. 22. The Dolphins will be on the road for that game against Jalen Hurts and company.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.