The Panthers will be without two of their best offensive players for their biggest game of the season.
Tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil are among the team’s inactives for the 4:25 p.m. game with the Saints.
Olsen aggravated his surgically repaired foot last week against the Jets, while Kalil continues to deal with a neck injury he called “pretty serious” this week.
Both players were listed as questionable.
Running back Christian McCaffrey and linebackers Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson, all of whom were also listed as questionable, will play.
The Panthers’ other inactives are OL Amini Silatolu, QB Garrett Gilbert, CB LaDarius Gunter, DE Zach Moore and LB Andrew Gachkar.
With Silatolu and Kalil out, the Panthers have only two healthy backups on the offensive line -- C Greg Van Roten and G/T Andrew Moton.
Olsen did not practice all week and the Panthers don’t want to jeopardize his chances of returning for the stretch run. X-rays showed he had not re-fractured the bone, which was repaired with a screw that remains in place.
He caught one pass against the Jets before leaving the game in the third quarter with what the team called soreness in his foot.