Jonathan Stewart: Updates on Panthers Star's Ankle Injury

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 26, 2012

Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott (57) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Jonathan Stewart suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury during Sunday night's preseason game against the New York Jets, per the NFL Network's Albert Breer.

Breer tweeted:

Jonathan Stewart carted off...Panthers have depth there, but still would be a bad loss for them.

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 27, 2012

 

Update: Friday, Sept. 7 at 2:05 p.m. ET

Stewart didn't practice on Friday, according to Joe Person of Charlotte Observer. It leaves his playing status for Sunday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up in the air. He's officially listed as questionable.

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle) did not practice, listed as questionable.

— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 7, 2012

If the veteran running back is unable to go, DeAngelo Williams will likely receive an increased workload in Week 1. The tandem has split time in recent seasons, limiting their fantasy value. As a full-time starter, Williams would have good upside.

-----End of update-----

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, August 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT by Tim Keeney

Stewart, who won't play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Carolina's final preseason game, has officially been listed as "day-to-day" according to the Charlotte Observer

Not really much of a surprise here. The injury doesn't appear serious, but ankle injuries are nothing to scoff at. The Panthers will take this slow.

With the way things are going, it's probably a good guess that Stewart will have the dreaded "questionable" tag when the Panthers enter Tampa Bay to start the regular season. 

-------End of Update-------

 

UPDATE: Monday, August 27 at 11:30 a.m. EDT by Patrick Clarke

According to NBC Sports Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith on Monday morning, "Stewart's injury is just a sprain" and "he won't play in the preseason finale" against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.

There is still no word whether Stewart will play on opening day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however. 

 

UPDATE: Sunday, August 26 at 11:33 p.m. EDT by Tim Keeney

Panther fans can start to breathe a little easier, as Stewart's initial X-ray results are encouraging (via Panthers' official Twitter account):

Ron Rivera says that RB Jonathan Stewart's ankle x-rays came back negative, but he will not play against the #Steelers on Thursday night.

Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 27, 2012

It appears as though Carolina has dodged a major bullet. Ankle injuries can take a while to heal, and Stewart could still miss a little bit of time, but nothing serious is good news at this point. 

------End of Update------

 

The Carolina Panthers' public relations department later confirmed that Stewart wouldn't be returning to the game. It released this tweet shortly after the injury took place:

#Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is out of the game with an ankle injury.

— Panthers PR Dept. (@Panthers_PR) August 27, 2012

The injury occurred after a tackle from Jets' safety LaRon Landry. Though we can never speculate on the severity of an injury, it may not be serious.

That said, Stewart was carted off the field, and anytime that happens it will cause a stir, especially when the player is considered a significant part of the team's attack.

Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have split carries in Carolina for the last four seasons. Stewart is the power back in the Panthers' talented running back tandem. 

He has rushed for 3,500 yards in four seasons in the NFL, all with the Carolina Panthers.

Though they do have depth at the position, neither of the two youngsters behind Stewart, Tauren Poole and Josh Vaughan, have his experience or track record of production.

Poole is a rookie and Vaughan has a total of 10 carries in his two-year career.

Hopefully, the injury isn't serious and Stewart won't miss any significant time as the season opener draws closer.

 

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