Jonathan Stewart Injury: Updates on Panthers RB's Hamstring and Return

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 09:   Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Updates from Sunday, Aug. 10

The Panthers provide an update on Jonathan Stewart's status:

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6

Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer provides an update on Jonathan Stewart's status:

Original Text:

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has gained a reputation as one of the NFL's most injury-prone players in recent years. Unfortunately, his 2014 campaign has gotten off to a familiar start.

According to Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman revealed that Stewart recently suffered a pulled hamstring:

Luckily, the ailment isn't expected to keep the Oregon alum out for very long, as reported by Person:

While it is difficult to call this situation promising, the fact that the Panthers have opted against placing Stewart on the physically unable to perform list suggests that they truly believe he will be back in action soon.   

Even so, it is tough not to be pessimistic considering Stewart's recent injury history. He hasn't played a full season since 2011, having missed a combined 17 games over the past two campaigns. He was largely healthy in 2010 and 2011, but played second fiddle to DeAngelo Williams.

Stewart looked like a potential superstar in his first two NFL seasons as he rushed for 10 touchdowns in both 2008 and 2009. Unfortunately, it has been a steady downhill descent ever since.

The 27-year-old bruiser is coming off a season in which he played just six games and rushed for a mere 180 yards. Even so, Stewart was optimistic leading up to training camp and was hopeful that things would be different in 2014, per Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer:

The past is the past and you can't really look at what last year was for me, or the year before. You can only take what you've learned and you can only make the best out of what's to come. As far as injuries last year, I had them. Hopefully the things I'm doing now allow me to put myself in position to not get injured.

Even though Stewart is in a timeshare with Williams, expectations are high for him this season. As pointed out by Tom Pelissero of USA Today, that largely stems from his exorbitant salary:

It isn't Stewart's fault that the Panthers overpaid him, but he certainly hasn't held up his end of the bargain to this point.

If this is indeed an injury that will only keep Stewart out for one or two weeks, then it may not ultimately be a big deal.

Observers are understandably skeptical, though, so Stewart has to prove once and for all that he can put the injury-prone label behind him.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter