2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rivera: Panthers could be 'dynamic' with Stewart

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2014-08-18 15:47

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart reminded teammates, fans and upcoming opponents just how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands, rushing for two touchdowns in Carolina's 28-16 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Now he has to prove he can stay healthy.

Stewart ran for 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first four seasons, but ankle and foot injuries limited the former first-round pick to 15 games over the last two seasons and his production has fallen off dramatically.

But if Sunday night was any indication, Stewart could be back in a big way.

He only ran for 26 yards on four carries, but his explosive 17-yard burst and his two TDs has Panthers coach Ron Rivera brimming with confidence when discussing a potential running attack that includes DeAngelo Williams, Stewart and Pro Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert.

Rivera said the Panthers have the potential to be ''dynamic'' if Stewart can stay healthy.

In 2008, Williams and Stewart became the first NFL running back duo to each run for 1,100 yards in the same season.

Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil has defended Stewart over the years, even as fans on Twitter and local sports talk radio ridiculed the running back for routinely missing practices and games.

''When he does get back out there you realize why he is so special and why you keep giving him chances to come back,'' Kalil said.

Kalil said the 5-foot-10, 235-pound Stewart runs as hard as any back in the league.

''I've played so many games with him and watched so much film, you see a guy that people want to keep fighting and fighting for,'' Kalil said. ''I think he is such a huge part of our running game and it's great to have him out there.''

Stewart missed the start of training camp after straining hamstring again raising questions about his durability.

But he said at the time he wasn't worried the hamstring and was actually encouraged that his ankle felt better than they had in three years.

It was Stewart's 17-yard run that sparked a stagnant Carolina offense on Sunday night and led to two straight touchdowns drives. Stewart showed his strength when he bounced off a defender to found the end zone in the second quarter on a 2-yard scoring run.

''He doesn't go down,'' Kalil said. ''He fights for every yard. I think with that you get some of the nicks and knacks that he gets. The guy just fights and fights and fights. I know it kills him to not be able to stay out there all the time, but it is part of the game.''

Stewart said he's excited about the season.

''It's been a while since I've touched the end zone,'' Stewart said.

Stewart's health could potentially impact how the team uses quarterback Cam Newton in the running game.

Newton has run for 2,032 yards and 28 touchdowns over the past three seasons - more than any other NFL quarterback - but Rivera has indicated he wants to reduce the wear and tear on Newton's body.

That doesn't mean the Panthers won't keep working on the read option in practice and use it some this season.

''We'll develop it until (Newton) is ready to go,'' Rivera said. ''Until then you will see what you see, and this is our offense. If we can use our backs effectively enough where he we don't have to rely on him running we would certainly much rather do that.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group