The Panthers have enough running backs that one could go missing and it might take days to realize it.
But perhaps the most talented of the lot might not be ready for the start of training camp, when everybody will be looking.
According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he wasn’t sure if Jonathan Stewart would be ready for the start of camp after having both ankles operated on this offseason, though Rivera said Stewart’s progress was good.
Stewart missed seven games last year, but prior to that, was actually more durable than teammate DeAngelo Williams. Stewart only missed two games in his first four seasons, while Williams missed 13 games over the same span.
The Panthers have committed to the pair of backs (along with fullback Mike Tolbert) by re-working their contracts, and every indication is they plan to use them more this year.
When Stewart’s well, he’s no less explosive than Williams, and stronger. Having the pair of them ready will help the Panthers have a degree of balance, which they’ll need if they’re going to do anything this season.