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October 14, 2013

Panthers evaluating Stewart's progress

Running back Jonathan Stewart will work out with trainer Ryan Vermillion again Tuesday before the Panthers decide whether Stewart will begin practicing in team drills Wednesday.

Stewart has been on the physically unable to perform list following offseason surgery on both ankles. His right ankle has been slower to heal, although Stewart has been running on the side the past couple of weeks.

Per the PUP list rules, Stewart was not eligible to return until this week. Teams have a three-week window in which to allow the player to begin practicing, then another three-week stretch from his first practice to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was "cautiously optimistic" Stewart would be back in the fold soon.

"We'll see. He's at a point where he's doing a lot more. But he's been doing it on the side," Rivera said Monday. "Ryan will work him out again tomorrow and see how he feels and we'll make a determination as we get ready for Wednesday's practice."

Behind leading rusher DeAngelo Williams and fullback Mike Tolbert, the Panthers rank eighth in rushing at 135.8 yards a game.

But Rivera said Stewart would add another element to the mix.

"I think with a guy like that that comes in a little with a little bit of a power inside guy, sometimes if he gets rolling he can pound, pound, pound, and all of a sudden you've got a guy with DeAngelo's quickness and burst, and he breaks a big one," Rivera said.

"Again, it's something that's happened here in the past with those two guys. I do know that with Michael Tolbert in the mix as well, we'll have a very good tandem of backs, even better than we have right now. Because I really like what we're doing and we want to stay right along those lines."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 14, 2013 at 01:21 PM | Permalink


If he's not ready, I hope Gettleman cuts bait. It's not that I don't like Stewart's skills it's just that we have so much money invested in him. Id like to see us throw a 3rd or 4th round pick and possibly Stewart to the Giants for Nix. We need to lighten our payroll and bring in more help for Smitty.

Posted by: CLTCAT | Oct 14, 2013 1:49:33 PM

I would keep Stewart as insurance untill the end of the year... let him get some reps and raise his value back up for a good deal (for the Panthers), offseason trade.

A healthy productive Stewart would be in demand by many teams, but Tolbert is better for what we need now.

Posted by: bill | Oct 14, 2013 2:19:07 PM

we need to free up cap room? really? we have something like 18 or 19 million to carry over now after the beason and edwards moves.

and you still have olsen and godfrey left to restructure before next season. and we have a ton of young guys under contract for next year.

WE DO NOT AND NEVER HAD A CAP PROBLEM we just had a bunch of guys under contract. having no cap space but having a full roster is not the same as having no cap space and having 35 guys signed (see the redskins). the reporters that keep reporting that are not good with their math and accounting.....that's why they are in journalism.

and cut ties with stewart now? right......that makes sense......it's not like thomas davis just didn't have a WHALE of a game yesterday. and jon beason didn't have a WHALE of a game for new york on thursday night. and austin collie didn't just score 2 tds for the pats.

you don't hear the pats talking about cutting gronk do you?

Posted by: charlotetan | Oct 14, 2013 4:07:35 PM

A power back with two bad ankles worries me a little bit. The way Gettleman has been doing things, I won't be suprised to see Stewart shipped out of here. I think the Williams/Tolber tandem has been doing just fine. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

Posted by: Smitty | Oct 14, 2013 4:45:14 PM

I wouldn't trade for Hakeem Nicks. As much as I love all former tarheels, he's kinda injury prone himself. If JStew comes back 85-90 pct. he'll add more diversity like Rivera mentioned and complete what I believe would be the most versatile rushing attack in the league...With Cam, Dwill, Tolbert, Stew, and even Barner (if he every gets healthy as well) the Panthers could really be dynamic...

Posted by: Macdabluepanther | Oct 14, 2013 4:51:39 PM

i agree to be worried about the ankles. but until seeing what we have at the end of the year.......it wouldn't be smart to make a judgement NOW. look at what we did with beason and the "value" we got. even 50% of former stewart is better than what barner is giving us as a late round running back.

deshaun foster BROKE his ankle in the playoffs in 2005, and had 900 yards in 2006 on 4.0 a carry.

you're forgetting about tolbert's role as a fullback.........williams/stewart/hoover was lethal. imagine williams/stewart/tolbert/cam. delhomme wasn't exactly a threat to run.

he has 2 surgically repaired ankles.....and a body that hasn't taken many hits in the last year and a half. there's pros and cons to that. not mention....he's always been hurt and playing through it and he's always been REALLY good playing hurt.

he could be thomas davis or he could be terrell davis. either way, we have to let him play out the year to know, and trading him for scraps won't bring us much real value. we can make that move on draft night.

not to mention....what happens if williams gets hurt? tolbert getting 15-20 carries a game? no thanks.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 14, 2013 5:53:28 PM

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