Ron Rivera says Jonathan Stewart may be ready for Week 17
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has missed the last two games with a sprained foot suffered in Week 14’s 38-0 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. But head coach Ron Rivera indicated on Monday that Stewart’s return to the gridiron could happen as soon as this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to Rivera, Stewart “might be” able to play in Week 17, per Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer.
Related: Rivera says Jonathan Stewart "might be" ready to play this week.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) December 28, 2015
Though the Panthers’ undefeated season is no more with Sunday’s 20-13 loss to those same Falcons, the stakes are still high with the team still vying with the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Fozzy Whitaker, Stewart’s backup, has already been ruled out of the game with a high ankle sprain, so they may be counting on Stewart’s return for the matchup with Tampa Bay’s tenth-ranked run defense (per ESPN).
Stewart, 28, has rushed for 989 yards (tops on the team) and six touchdowns on the season.