The St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers face off in a game with division race implications, as both teams play in divisions boasting one-loss leaders. St. Louis's day will be more difficult with the news that Cortland Finnegan will miss the game with a thigh injury.
Finnegan would have been responsible for covering veteran wide receiver Steve Smith and would have had a significant height and weight advantage over the Panthers' top receiver. It remains to be seen whether second-year corner Janoris Jenkins will be charged with covering Smith, or if the Rams will keep their assignments the same, making Trumaine Johnson the player to watch.
Carolina enters Sunday's game fairly injury free, but running back Jonathan Stewart will not make his season debut against the Rams. There was some speculation earlier in the week that Stewart could come off the PUP list in order to play St. Louis, but late reports indicate he's at least one more week away. The Panthers will also be without starting strong safety Robert Lester, who has played very well of late after being signed as an undrafted free agent. Veteran safety Quintin Mikell will get the start.
St. Louis Rams