Jonathan Stewart Injury: Panthers RB Reportedly Will Play vs. Saints

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2012

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is expected to play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, according to NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales via Twitter (via Michael Fabiano):

@staceydales reports Jonathan Stewart is expected to play today.

— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) September 16, 2012

 

UPDATE: Sunday, September 16, 11:47 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

Jonathan Stewart is officially active for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. He was not listed on the inactive list for Week 2, according to ESPN.com.

---End of Update---

 

Stewart missed Week 1's loss at Tampa Bay because of an ankle injury suffered in Carolina's third preseason game against the New York Jets on August 26. 

Stewart's return is phenomenal news for the Panthers.

Carolina rushed the ball just 13 times for 10 total yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in its season-opening loss on the road last weekend.

Now, Week 1's worst rushing attack will get a boost from a player who averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 8.8 yards per reception in 2011.

The return of Carolina's second-leading rusher from a season ago gives the Panthers a real shot at getting into the win column against division rival New Orleans in Charlotte on Sunday.

The Saints allowed 153 rushing yards to the Washington Redskins at home in Week 1, ranking them 30th in the league against the run. So, the Panthers should boast a significant advantage on the ground at home in Week 2.

Stewart rushed for over 1,100 yards in 2009 and has scored 26 rushing touchdowns in four seasons in the NFL. 

Fantasy football owners will love the fact that he averaged 8.8 yards per carry and scored a touchdown in the Panthers' last meeting with the Saints.

Stewart has been a vital part of Carolina's recent rushing success and will certainly add another dimension to the Panthers' ground attack against the Saints this weekend.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more NFL reaction and analysis. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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