For the second day in a row this week, safety Rafael Bush was the only Saints player who missed practice on Thursday.
Bush has missed the past two games with an ankle injury he sustained in his team’s loss to Seattle on Dec. 2. He plays in the defense’s dime package.
Meanwhile, safety Roman Harper practiced fully on Thursday after being limited Wednesday with a hip injury. Tight end Josh Hill (hamstring) and outside linebacker/defensive end Keyunta Dawson (calf) were limited on Thursday for a second straight day.
In Carolina (10-4), wide receiver Steve Smith missed practice with a jammed finger that limited him Wednesday. The Panthers’ said on their official Twitter account that coach Ron Rivera and his staff expect Smith to play against the Saints (10-4) in Carolina on Sunday.
Panthers running Jonathan Stewart missed a second day of practice Thursday with a knee injury. Tight end Brandon Williams (hip) was limited after not being listed on the injury report Wednesday.
Tackle Jordan Gross and guard Travelle Wharton fully practiced after missing Wednesday (neither absence was injury-related). Tight end Greg Olsen returned to work fully after sitting out Wednesday with a hurt foot.