As well as things went for the Panthers in the first half of last night’s win over the Dolphins, they had a bit of a scare from their new money man.
After scoring an early touchdown, running back Jonathan Stewart hobbled off the field with a trainer, but walked back a few minutes later after getting checked out.
“He got kicked in the calf and we just wanted to be cautious,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said after the game.
Stewart, who signed a five-year contract extension last week which included $23 million guaranteed, was well enough to be seen dancing on the sidelines in the second half, clearly not bothered by the problem.
Starting center Ryan Kalil and right tackle Byron Bell also had to come out briefly after they got their feet stomped during the game, but X-rays on both were negative.
Those were the only negatives for the Panthers first offense, which rolled to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and was up 20-7 at halftime.
Cam Newton was a clean 8-of-11 for 119 yards and a touchdown. The offense which ranked fifth in points and seventh in yards last year looked much more polished than in last week’s yawner against the Texans, and having Stewart healthy will be a key component in moving that forward.