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Panthers RB Foster out with broken ankle injury

CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2006) -- Carolina running back DeShaun Foster broke his right ankle in the third quarter Sunday against the Chicago Bears, ending his season before the Panthers go to Seattle next week to play for the NFC championship.

"It's disappointing. DeShaun was doing so well. But he'll be back," Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said.

Nick Goings replaced Foster and will be called upon next week. Foster was injured early in the second half on a tackle by Chicago linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer.

"Nick and DeShaun are similar. He can get it done," Delhomme said.

Panthers Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers was also forced out in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

Peppers got the injury driving Bears running back Thomas Jones out of bounds near the goal line in the fourth quarter. Peppers went to the locker room after the play, then returned to the bench but not the game.

He said he expects to play against the Seahawks next week.

Foster rushed for 151 yards last week to lead the Panthers over the Giants 23-0. He had 54 yards on 16 carries Sunday before the injury.

The Panthers were already without three-time Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve in December with a swollen right knee.

Chicago played the second half without Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown, who aggravated a calf injury that forced him out of the final four game of the regular season.

The Bears also lost speedy receiver Bernard Berrian in the second half with a hip injury. He had five catches.

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