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

Marcus EasleySep 21 03:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) and SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Greg ScruggsSep 21 03:22p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared OT Garry Gilliam, LB Bruce Irvin, OT Andrew McDonald, RB Christine Michael, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, QB Aaron Murray, DE Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson inactive for Week 3.

Carson PalmerSep 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 3 game.

Tony CarterSep 21 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have declared CB Tony Carter, OG Ben Garland, WR Cody Latimer, LB Lerentee McCray, OT Michael Schofield, LB Danny Trevathan, DT Mitch Unrein inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:11p

Charles is out for the Week 3 game.

Mike PounceySep 21 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins have declared DE Terrence Fede, LB Koa Misi, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Mike Pouncey, OG Shelley Smith, LB Jordan Tripp and OT Billy Turner inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee) has been declared inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared CB Tramaine Brock, DE Cornellius Carradine, OT Anthony Davis, TE Vernon Davis, C Marcus Martin, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton inactive for Week 3.

Chad HenneSep 21 02:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles entered the team's Week 3 game in the second half after QB Chad Henne was benched.

Dave ZastudilSep 21 02:52p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared LB Victor Butler, LB Glenn Carson, TE Rob Housler, LB Alex Okafor, QB Carson Palmer, NT Alameda Ta'amu, P Dave Zastudil inactive for Week 3.

Stephen TullochSep 21 02:42p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) and FS Don Carey (hamstring) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Dennis PittaSep 21 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was carted off after suffering a right hip injury during the team's Week 3 game.

Matt CasselSep 21 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel (toe) was carted off the field in Week 3 after suffering a toe injury. He is considered questionable to return.

Danny WoodheadSep 21 01:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (undisclosed) was carted off the field after suffering an undisclosed injury in Week 3.

Adrian PetersonSep 21 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's lawyers are looking for an expedited trial for Peterson and do not want the trial to begin next year.

Ray RiceSep 21 12:22p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) will argue during his appeal hearing that the tape that was released of his domestic violence incident was edited, according to a source. Rice [ More ]

Keenan AllenSep 21 12:04p

Allen is active for the Week 3 game.

Shane VereenSep 21 12:02p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) is active against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Sept. 21.

A.J. GreenSep 21 11:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is active against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 21.

Anthony SpencerSep 21 11:52a

The Dallas Cowboys have declared DL Anthony Spencer, DL Davon Coleman, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, LB Justin Durant, LB Rolando McClain, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 3.

Bryce BrownSep 21 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared RB Bryce Brown, TE Chris Gragg, OG Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Keith Rivers, LB Randell Johnson, CB Ross Cockrell inactive for Week 3.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch for the game.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Don Jones, RB James White, OL Josh Kline, DL Michael Buchanan, C Ryan Wendell, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 3.

Akeem JordanSep 21 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared LB Akeem Jordan, TE Jordan Reed, DL Kedric Golston, OT Morgan Moses, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Santana Moss, CB Tracy Porter inactive for Week 3.

Brandon WattsSep 21 11:42a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Brandon Watts, WR Charles X. Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, OG David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DL Scott Crichton, CB Shaun Prater inactive for Week 3.

Arthur JonesSep 21 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared DL Arthur Jones, LB Chris Carter, WR Da'Rick Rogers, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis inactive for Week 3.

Brandon ThompsonSep 21 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared RB Ben Tate, DL Eric Martin, TE Gerell Robinson, DL Ish Kitchen, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson inactive for Week 3.

David HawthorneSep 21 11:42a

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB David Hawthorne, FB Erik Lorig, DL John Jenkins, SS Marcus Ball, RB Mark Ingram, WR Nick Toon, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 3.

Justin ForsettSep 21 11:39a

Forsett will start the Week 3 game for the Ravens. Bernard Pierce is out.

Bernard PierceSep 21 11:39a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is inactive Sunday, Sept. 21, for the Week 3 game. RB Justin Forsett will start.

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