Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart had a meeting with the team’s doctors on Thursday to check on the status of his surgically repaired ankles and the result of that exam is going to keep Stewart on the sideline for a while.
Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that Panthers coach Ron Rivera announced that Stewart will be placed on the physically unable to perform list to start camp, which means he won’t be able to practice with the rest of the team until he’s activated. Stewart gave a brief update on his condition before word came down about the PUP list designation, saying that his left ankle felt fine but the right one was still causing him trouble.
“It’s real difficult for the fact that you don’t want to be sitting, standing around during training camp watching guys get reps,” Stewart said. “You got to take things from the mental perspective because that’s all you can really do when you’re limited. And just missing out on being part of the team, sometimes you feel left out when you’re not participating. Those are things I’ve dealt and we’ve got a good team and good group of guys that rally around each other, so I’m very fortunate.”
With Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams ready to go, Stewart risks losing time in the backfield rotation should his absence linger deep into camp and the preseason. That would be bad news for him and for the Panthers, whose best path to offensive success this season starts with a sturdy running game.