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Sprained foot sidelines Jonathan Stewart for third straight game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers will try to wrap up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs in Sunday's regular-season finale against Tampa Bay without starting running back Jonathan Stewart.

Stewart was ruled out on Friday with a sprained foot that sidelined him the past two games.

The Panthers (14-1) also will be without backup running back Fozzy Whittaker and possibly wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who is listed as doubtful.

Safety Kurt Coleman, who has missed only eight snaps all season, also is doubtful with a sprained foot suffered in Sunday's 20-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons that ended Carolina's attempt at a perfect regular-season record.

Second-year player Tre Boston is expected to start for Coleman.

Mike Tolbert likely will get the start at running back, but look for rookie Cameron Artis-Payne to carry a heavier load.

Artis-Payne is more of an every-down back. He has rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries the past two weeks.

Undrafted rookie Brandon Wegher will be active for the first time this season. Wegher will be used more as a third-down back, as Whittaker was. He also could replace Whittaker as a kickoff returner.

Stewart has a team-best 989 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Ginn is the leading wide receiver with 739 yards and a career-best 10 touchdown catches, including two in the first meeting against Tampa Bay.

Coach Ron Rivera said that depending on which formation the Panthers open with, Philly Brown and rookie Devin Funchess likely will start at wide receiver.

The Panthers can wrap up home field throughout the NFC playoffs with a victory or an Arizona (13-2) loss or tie against Seattle.