After being put on the PUP list to start the season Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is now eligible to be activated this week. Whether or not he is activated will depend upon how he fares in workouts with trainers who will access his progress. In Ron Rivera’s press conference today he said he is “cautiously optimistic” regarding Stewart’s return to the field.
Getting Stewart back on the field is potentially a huge addition for this squad if he is able to stay healthy and not suffer any setbacks. That’s a BIG if going forward. DeAngelo Williams has done an admirable job shouldering the majority of the load this year with Mike Tolbert spelling him, but Stewart gives the ground game a physical runner who has the ability to break a long gain. It’ll also lighten the load on Williams and keep his 30-year-old legs fresh.
We’ve all seen how potent “Double Trouble” was at their peak. While those days appear to be long gone I think it’s safe to say we can all agree that this backfield will look better with Stewart back in the fold. It will be interesting to see how he looks coming back, but the team would be wise to bring him along slowly to ensure his long-term health.