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October 22, 2013

Stewart returns to practice, likely won't play Thursday

Jonathan Stewart’s long-awaited return to practice got a mocking standing ovation from his teammates and coaches on Tuesday.

The Panthers running back practiced for the first time in nearly a year on Tuesday and he said it was good to be back on the field.

“The process of something like offseason surgery that I had, the expectation was it would be something quick and easy and get back to what I’d been doing,” said Stewart, who has been battling a sore right ankle since surgery. “But then it turned into this long process. I’ve learned a lot about
myself, what I can endure and a lot of things about my love of the game and being around people like this.”

Stewart and coach Ron Rivera wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Stewart playing Thursday at Tampa Bay, but Rivera said it was likely Stewart wouldn’t see the field until the Week 9 contest against Atlanta, keeping with the timetable set last week.

“He looked really good,” Rivera said. “He moved around well and it was very good to see him out there. We’re excited. We’ll see how he reacts tomorrow morning to the workout today and see how it goes. We’ll really get a good look at him and work him out the next few days.”

But don’t look for Stewart to automatically re-claim his starting role when he returns to action. The Panthers promoted Stewart to the starting spot after five games last season, where he stayed until injuring his ankle against Philadelphia in November.

DeAngelo Williams is 11th in the NFL with 434 rushing yards this season, and Rivera said Williams has earned the right to keep the starting role.

"Weve got a guy right now that has established himself as our premiere back," Rivera said. "DeAngelo has earned that right to continue to be that guy and he will continue to be that guy."

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on October 22, 2013 at 03:37 PM | Permalink


the dude had bad feet in college. not a good thing for a RB, but I wish him well.

So we're going to get less than half a season out of this highly paid RB, not good.

I say we keep him for rest of the season though, I don't want to trade him to the NY Giants and have to listen to Charlottean talk about how many carries he is getting EVERY game. (had to harass you buddy)

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 22, 2013 3:55:25 PM

We'll end up keeping him for the rest of this season and all of 2014. We would take too much of a cap hit if we release him before that.

Posted by: Steven | Oct 22, 2013 4:07:32 PM

I~m concerned that the WR position is being over looked,Our receiving core is not playoff caliber,LOok at the numbers and stats ,our 1st receiver does`nt show up until around 44th in the league stats and Denvers `Eric DEcker has almost the yardage alone of Smith Lafell and Ginn combined, Remember I said white boy Decker. Am I the only one here that believes Smith is on his last hu.rah and that Lafell is only a 3rd receiver at best,LOok Olsen and Ginn is really all we have the roll of Smith and Lafells numbers could be filled by any average receiver,I have enjoyed watching Smith over the years but He no more has break away speed and when his number is called deep its always some type of slow up and let the defensive back go past him and try to catch the ball. JUST DIAGNOSING

Posted by: joe | Oct 22, 2013 4:56:10 PM

Gettleman,You should of at lest asked for a trade with the Giants for Beason preferably a receiver even a 2nd sting that`s were the panthers are hurting. If some lame idea comes up to trade Stewy it better be for a 1st string starting receiver on a team thats hurting for running back.That could be our playoff ticket this year,THAT AND RON KEEPING THAT FIRE LIT UNDER HIS COACHES.Go PANTHERS!!!!!

Posted by: joe | Oct 22, 2013 5:17:25 PM

We aren't hurting at receiver nearly as much as we were when dead weight Armanti Edwards was on the team taking up a roster spot.
Biggest bust in team history, that guy. But J-Stewart is closing in on 3rd behind fellow draft mate Jeff Otah. Wow Hurney was bad.

Posted by: Timbo | Oct 22, 2013 5:25:29 PM

Are there any valid answers as to why we just gave away Beason for free??????? I don't get it

Posted by: sc | Oct 22, 2013 6:30:57 PM

@SC we didn't give him away, we got a conditional draft pick. he's not better than Kuechly inside, and is playing inside for Giants. He proved incapable of playing outside for us in the first two games. He bovisoulsy went in and asked for a trade and although noted as a team guy, it's kind of awkward for an ex-star to be second team .. furthermore, with only 46 actives, second teamers have to play special teams and he's not good at those either ... glad he's having a resurgence in NY, hopefully G'man got at least a third and maybe even a second if he started some any games, we'll see. Stewart needs to renogiate his contract.

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 22, 2013 7:06:57 PM

Guy, the reason why the Panthers doesn't have high receiver stats is because they aren't throwing the ball nearly as much as other teams. They are efficient with a balanced attack and Cam only threw like 19 times Sunday and not mumch more last week against Minnesota. Also, Smith still has break away speed however he's not a Ginn, but not too many people in the league are. Lafell is a legit #2 and with his blocking and catching he's improving every week. I think the stats never tell the whole story, just like one guy may have 15 sacks but it's the other guy that force the qb to other side for his teammate to get the sack. As long as we're winning, I don't mind having low stat guys. I guess you have some people on the team on your fantasy league.

Posted by: QCdude | Oct 22, 2013 7:32:48 PM

how many receivers do we need? how many guys do we need catching the ball when olsen, smith and lafell aren't getting enough balls as it is????

we are and SHOULD be a run heavy team. we aren't the 2001 rams. and year in and out the patriots make names out of no-name receivers and tight ends.

the only need we have right now is a guard since silatolu went down and maybe another linebacker since we gave away beason.

the only intelligent comment on here was the one about there being no point in cutting stewart this year or next since most of his contract is guaranteed during that time anyways. and why dump the guy now after seeing how davis and beason have come back from their injuries? the guy is still young, still elite, and hasn't been getting hit for over a year now. he's fresh. we didn't need him these last 6 games anyways. but we could definitely use him going forward. stewart/williams with tolbert at FB is a lot better than williams/tolbert.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 22, 2013 9:18:39 PM

Has there been a rule change about taping ankles in he nfl? Seems with stewarts ankle problems this would help keep him on the field by lessening the movement in that area, Ron your remember back in the day Walter Peyton always had taped ankles when playing in a game look at some of the old film footage. I`m just noticing a lot of ankle an achillies injuries from numerous players and wondering would this help?

Posted by: durability | Oct 23, 2013 7:02:50 AM

^^^^ restrict the ankle and your knee takes the damage. pick your poison.

the human leg is just not supposed to twist and turn and take the damage that football brings. the strengthening and stretching is the biggest part of prevention.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 24, 2013 10:50:55 AM

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