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September 24, 2013

Barner back for Panthers, Stewart on track to return

The Panthers' second-ranked rushing attack is getting some reinforcements.

Rookie running back Kenjon Barner returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his foot in the third preseason game at Baltimore.

More importantly, veteran running back Jonathan Stewart is on track to come off the physically unable to perform list when he's eligible in Week 7, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said recently. Stewart continues to rehab his surgically repaired right ankle.

Without a trusted backup, DeAngelo Williams has averaged 20 carries a game and is the league's third-leading rusher with 291 yards through three games. Only LeSean McCoy (395) and Doug Martin (297) have more rushing yards than Williams.

Williams has made it clear he didn't like how he was used under former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. But he has thrived under Chud's successor, Mike Shula, who runs a more traditional rushing offense with the zone read sprinkled in as a change of pace.

Still, for a 30-year-old back who was relied on heavily in college at Memphis, getting some backfield help should be beneficial, especially as the season goes on.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on September 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Permalink


Good year for Dwill, when Stewart and Barner get back our run game will be monstrous and Ginn will be getting more deep looks

Posted by: Diego | Sep 24, 2013 12:19:54 PM

I dunno, Diego -- DWill has shone when he has gotten the lion's share of the reps, at least recently. Look at end of last year. I wonder whether JStew's return hurts that?

Posted by: Scott Walters | Sep 24, 2013 12:50:04 PM

DeAngelo is play as well and looking as strong as ever. Best back in team history.

Posted by: PantherJon | Sep 24, 2013 12:51:31 PM

Noooo!! This is going to ruin his fantasy stats!

Posted by: Steven | Sep 24, 2013 1:07:00 PM

*Most decisive win in Panthers history and not one article from the crew* SMH

anyways, I have always felt Dwill was underrated because of our running approach. He's 30, and while that is rather old for a RB, he's still got tons of tread left do to the time share with Stewart over the years.

Glad to see Barner back, hopefully we can get some him touches were he'll utilize his speed, agility, and quickness.

Posted by: Macdabluepanther | Sep 24, 2013 1:09:34 PM

Deangelo has been great this year except that fumble against Seattle - he is on pace for 1500 yards. I would like to see him get another 1000 yard season.

Posted by: Dom | Sep 24, 2013 1:39:44 PM

why did we sign stewart to an extension? w

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 24, 2013 3:05:28 PM

DWill is having a good season and it will be good to get JStew back. Barner needs to prove that he was worth a draft pick and the jury is still out on that matter but time will tell the tale. Same for Kugbila....still think he is a bust.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Sep 24, 2013 6:36:06 PM

Heal soon J-stew,godspeed.Welcome back Kenjon,make us Ducks proud.
Go Ducks!

Posted by: Glenn Eckman | Sep 24, 2013 9:30:22 PM

If Barner is any good who do we let go? That should be the question.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 24, 2013 10:49:16 PM

Kugbila will teach us to never draft a feel-good story. That's a great way to maintain mediocrity.

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 25, 2013 9:21:13 AM

Time to release "Stay-hurt" Stewart imo. No sense in paying a key player that can't give you a season's worth of play over several years. D-Will stays healthy and puts up the numbers to prove himself. He's explosive and will make you pay big if you miss. I'd love to have a healthy Stewart... but the track record is what it is.

Posted by: Nick | Sep 25, 2013 10:45:27 AM

i agree nick.

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 25, 2013 11:32:34 AM

nick and big gulps......prior to last year - he consistently gave you a seasons worth of great production.

a little premature to make that kind of decision before seeing how he looks the latter half of the year after basically being off for a year.

i don't mind the fact that he has avoided taking hits during that time period. adds life to his career by skipping mostly meaningless games in which we won about half of them. definitely haven't missed him thus far this year. running game hasn't been the problem.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 25, 2013 11:55:00 AM

D-Will has been great (minus the fumbles).
Stewart will give a boost it certain situations. Barner gives a totally different dimension on 3rd down and read-option plays.

Can't wait...

Posted by: Steven H. | Sep 25, 2013 2:38:36 PM

Good point, Scott. Also, those "ducks" need to shit or get off the pot. Right now we need everybody healthy if we're gonna have ANY chance of a playoff run.

Posted by: nasty704 | Sep 25, 2013 4:00:17 PM

In two years Barner or Poole will be the starter. Maybe next year - depending on if DeAngelo can finish the season. Stewart could make a comeback - he is still young but has had so many injuries I just don't see it. Barner and Poole seem to be injury prone too - so maybe none of these guys start in two years.

Posted by: Dom | Oct 2, 2013 6:47:20 PM

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