Jonathan Stewart is not out of the injury woods yet. While the Carolina Panthers running back made his season debut last Sunday against the Saints, his injury is still a big enough concern to keep him out of practice.
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 20 at 6:50 p.m. ET
As expected, Jonathan Stewart fantasy owners will need to find another solution this week. The Panthers running back has been ruled out, according to NFL Network's Stacey Dales:
Panthers' Jon Stewart officially ruled OUT v. Giants— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) September 20, 2012
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
After making his triumphant return last week, Stewart appears to be touch-and-go for Thursday night against the Giants.
According to Dave Richard of CBS Sports, it doesn't sound like Stewart will get the ball much due to a toe injury.
Stewart's presence, or lack thereof, has definitely been felt in the first two games. Last week he was able to rack up 51 yards on 11 carries, but didn't have that same burst we are accustomed to seeing.
Hopefully this isn't an ongoing problem the rest of the year, as Stewart and DeAngelo Williams make one of the best batteries in the NFL and can ease some of the burden on Cam Newton.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 1:40 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports Stewart will be a game-time decision for Carolina's game on Thursday night against the New York Giants. The running back is dealing with a toe injury.
Rivera said Stewart and Davis will be gametime decisions. Stewart has a toe injury, does not sound like it's related to ankle injury.— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 19, 2012
Stewart gained 51 yards on 11 carries in Week 2, but the Panthers backfield remains one to avoid if possible in fantasy leagues when everybody is healthy. DeAngelo Williams would likely see an increase in touches if Stewart is unable to suit up.
---End of update---
The Charlotte Observer's Joe Person passed along this interesting bit:
Panthers had 5 players who did not practice: Byron Bell, Thomas Davis, Jonathan Stewart, Colin Jones, Mike Pollak.— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 18, 2012
And while missing an early week practice can be done for nothing but precautionary reasons, Person highlights why missing practice on Tuesday is especially troubling this week.
Rivera said he's concerned about all of the 5 injured guys in a short week. Might not know their status until Thursday morning.— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 18, 2012
Updates don't get much more disheartening for fantasy owners than that. It appears Stewart is headed for the dreaded game-time decision.
Stewart had 11 carries for 51 yards in Week 2, and he looked strong doing so. However, the smart play would be to leave Stewart on the bench this week.
Since he is dinged up enough to miss practice, it is reasonable to deduce that he is not going to see a big jump in his carries against the Giants this Thursday.
The quick turnaround is doing Stewart no favors. That is difficult for any running back, especially one that is battling an injury.
Unless your fantasy running back situation is dire, it would be best to plan on keeping Stewart on the bench for at least another week.