2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers RB Stewart says he's ready to play

    2013-10-31 07:10

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jonathan Stewart has declared himself ready to roll.

The Panthers sixth-year running back says he's healthy enough to get back on the field Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons after missing the last 11 months with an ankle injury.

Stewart went through his first padded practice since injuring his ankle last November and says he's hoping the Panthers will allow him to suit up this week.

''I feel ready,'' Stewart said Wednesday with a wide smile.

Stewart would first have to be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to be eligible to play Sunday. The Panthers have until 4 p.m. EDT Saturday to make that decision.

Coach Ron Rivera wouldn't say for sure if the Panthers would activate Stewart, saying, ''We'll see.''

Rivera said the team is ''very excited'' about getting Stewart back on the field and ''he will be ready if he's needed.''

When pressed on the matter, Rivera leaned away from the microphones on the podium in front of him, smiled and whispered to reporters in the front row ''read between the lines.''

Rivera said regardless of when Stewart returns, DeAngelo Williams will remain the team's starting running back.

Williams, who turned 30 earlier this year, is on pace to rush for more than 1,000 yards and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry for the league's eighth-ranked offense. Carolina's offense is first in the NFL in time of possession.

''We've got a guy that has established himself as our premier back,'' Rivera said. ''DeAngelo has earned that right to continue to be that guy and he will continue to be that guy.''

The big trick, Rivera said, will be finding a way to keep the team's stable of running backs happy.

Along with Williams and Stewart, the Panthers' backfield also features fullback Mike Tolbert and rookie Kenjon Barner.

And oh, there's quarterback Cam Newton, who can run a little bit, too.

''The one thing we can't worry about is making sure everybody gets enough touches,'' Rivera said. ''What has to happen is when these guys get their opportunities they have to be quality touches. We have to put them in the best position so they can have success and have quality touches. And I know they all understand that. ... We can't force things. We can't.''

Rivera said offensive coordinator Mike Shula ''has to continue to call his game the way he wants to call it, and at the end of the day when you get your opportunity make the best of it.''

Stewart had surgery on both ankles, but the right one gave him problems for months and forced the Panthers to put him on the PUP list to start the season after he missed all of training camp.

Williams and Tolbert have carried the load in his absence.

Williams has 477 yards rushing on 114 carries and one touchdown. Tolbert has 182 yards on 51 carries and three TDs.

Williams injured his quadriceps in Carolina's 38-13 win over Tampa Bay last Thursday night and sat out practice on Wednesday allowing Stewart to get the bulk of carries.

However, Williams is expected to play against Atlanta.

Stewart has split carries in the Panthers backfield with Williams since coming into the league as a first-round pick in 2008.

Stewart's best season came in 2009 when he ran for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns. His numbers dropped off some over the past three seasons in part because former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski deemphasized the running game.

Shula, who replaced Chudzinski after serving two seasons as quarterbacks coach, has made a concerted effort to stick with the run this season.

''You dream about playing in the NFL all of your life and you never know when your last snap is,'' Stewart said. ''You can take things for granted. And sitting back for a year watching guys go through OTAs, minicamp and training camp and the first few games of the season is tough. Just being back and being a part of the scheme of things is a good thing.''

---

AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Knowshon MorenoSep 2 09:33a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller totaled nearly 20 percent (140 yards) of his season yardage total (709 yards) on his longest four carries of the 2013 season. He had [ More ]

J.J. WattSep 2 04:23a

The Houston Texans signed DL J.J. Watt to a new long-term contract on Monday, Sept. 1. Watt's extension is a six-year deal worth $100 million, of which $51.876 million is guaranteed money.

Kyle Van NoySep 2 04:23a

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (core muscle) could miss as many as eight games as he recovers from core muscle surgery. He could be placed on short-term IR as a result.

Josh BoyceSep 2 03:12a

The New England Patriots signed LB Jake Bequette, DL Deontae Skinner, OL Chris Martin, S Kanorris Davis, LS Charley Hughlett, CB Daxton Swanson and WR Josh Boyce to the [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsSep 2 01:02a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) said he felt fine after practice Monday, Sept. 1, and hopes to be on the field in Week 1.

A.J. EddsSep 2 12:43a

The New York Jets re-signed LB A.J. Edds Monday, Sept. 1.

Kevin DorseySep 2 12:03a

The Green Bay Packers signed WR Kevin Dorsey, C Garth Gerhart, WR Alex Gillett, RB Michael Hill, LB Adrian Hubbard and DE Luther Robinson to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim BenfordSep 1 11:52p

The Dallas Cowboys signed WR Tim Benford, DE Kenneth Boatright, C Ronald Patrick, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Smith, LB William Smith and FB Nikita Whitlock to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Devon StillSep 1 10:42p

The Cincinnati Bengals signed OT Dan France, TE Kevin Greene, WR Cobi Hamilton, DT David King, WR Colin Lockett, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, C Trevor Robinson, DT [ More ]

Isaiah FreySep 1 10:33p

The Chicago Bears signed WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, DB Isaiah Frey, OG Ryan Groy, LB DeDe Lattimore, DB Albert Louis-Jean, DB Terrance Mitchell, DE [ More ]

Bryan WaltersSep 1 09:33p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed free-agent WR Bryan Walters (Seahawks) to a contract Monday, Sept. 1. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

J. CunninghamSep 1 09:33p

The St. Louis Rams re-signed TE Justice Cunningham (ankle) and placed him on the season-ending reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1.

Quentin GrovesSep 1 09:33p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Texans) to an undisclosed contract Monday, Sept. 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 09:23p

Free-agent C Josh Allen (Buccaneers), C Thomas Austin (Colts), OG Karim Barton (Browns), CB Akeem Davis (Redskins), LB Larry Dean (Vikings), TE Richard Gordon (Dolphins), TE Marcel Jensen (Vikings), [ More ]

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Jeremiah GeorgeSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed LB Jeremiah George on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim FuggerSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed DE Tim Fugger (ankle) on no-recall waivers from the reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1, and he received an injury settlement.

Phil BatesSep 1 08:02p

The Seattle Seahawks placed WR Phil Bates on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Don JonesSep 1 08:02p

The New England Patriots claimed CB Don Jones (Dolphins) off waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Derek CarrSep 1 06:42p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback Week 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 05:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agents WR Charles X. Johnson (Browns) and OG Karim Barton (Browns) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Khalid WootenSep 1 05:32p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent CB Khalid Wooten (Titans) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Phillip AdamsSep 1 04:52p

The New York Jets signed free-agents CB Phillip Adams (Seahawks) and released WR Quincy Enunwa Monday, Sept. 1.

Korey ToomerSep 1 04:22p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent LB Korey Toomer (Seahawks) and released CB Jemea Thomas Monday, Sept. 1.

Case KeenumSep 1 04:22p

The St. Louis Rams claimed QB Case Keenum off waivers from the Houston Texans Monday, Sept. 1.

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

James IhedigboSep 1 04:22p

Detroit Lions SS James Ihedigbo (leg), FS Don Carey (undisclosed) and LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) did not practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Garrett GilbertSep 1 04:03p

The St. Louis Rams signed free-agents QB Garrett Gilbert (Rams), LB Kevin Reddick (Saints), SS Matt Daniels (Rams), LB Denicos Allen (Panthers) and OT Sean Hooey (Rams) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Bruce IrvinSep 1 03:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bruce Irvin (hip) may play Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Corey PetersSep 1 03:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') is still iffy for the regular season opener. Head coach Mike Smith said he wants Peters to practice in pads Wednesday, Sept. 3, before making a decision.

Trai TurnerSep 1 03:12p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) will start at right guard Sunday, Sept. 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to head coach Ron Rivera, though C Fernando Velasco may spot him at times.

Kyle WilliamsSep 1 03:02p

The Kansas City Chiefs released WR Kyle Williams Monday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group