Offensive-line woes: Panthers sign Hicks to replace injured Williams

jjones@charlotteobserver.comDecember 19, 2012 

The Carolina Panthers moved Zack Williams to the injured reserve on Tuesday after the offensive lineman tore his ACL during pregame warmups.

He becomes the 17th Panther to go on injured reserve this season, which leaves Carolina one away from matching its franchise record that was set last year.

Williams, a second-year guard out of Washington State, was on the team’s practice squad for the first seven games of the season before being promoted to the 53-man roster. He didn’t see action until Week 11 against Tampa Bay.

Williams is yet another injury to an offensive line that’s been more fluid than any other position group for the Panthers this season. First, Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil was lost for the season with a foot injury. In an effort to find the right configuration, the Panthers have used four different starting lineups on the line since Week 7.

The Panthers signed free agent Hayworth Hicks in Tuesday to replace Williams. Hicks, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State, has been with four NFL teams this season. He was signed by the Colts after the draft but cut in the preseason. He also had stops with the Jets, Chiefs and most recently with Tampa Bay.

Near sellout: Fewer than 500 tickets are available for Sunday’s home finale against the Oakland Raiders.

The team expects to sell out the Week 16 game, which will mark the 103rd consecutive sellout for the franchise.

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