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

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