Jonathan Stewart won’t play against Atlanta, could miss 4 weeks
One of the many concerns for the 1-2 Carolina Panthers is the health of Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Stewart.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said on Thursday that Stewart will not play in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons and that he isn’t sure of Stewart’s timetable beyond that. However, Rivera did note last week that Stewart could be facing four weeks on the sideline, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Ron Rivera says Jonathan Stewart won't play this wk. vs Falcons. Not sure timetable beyond that. Said last week could be 4 wks.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 29, 2016
Stewart, 29, was inactive in Carolina’s Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings after getting knocked out of a Week 2 victory over the San Francisco 49ers with a hamstring injury. He had only managed 73 rushing yards on 20 carries for the season before getting hurt.
Cameron Artis-Payne got the start at running back against Minnesota, rushing 12 times for 47 yards. Fozzy Whittaker also got some decent work in with five carries for 22 yards.
While having the NFL’s premier dual-threat quarterback in Cam Newton will prevent the offense from suffering too much in Stewart’s absence, the lack of clarity in their backfield is yet another conundrum that the reigning NFC champs will have to solve.