After his first full practice back since spraining his ankle more than three weeks ago, running back Jonathan Stewart wasnt willing to say hed be ready to go for Sundays game against New Orleans. Well see, he said. Only time will tell.
Stewart, who sprained his ankle against the New York Jets in the third preseason game, said his ankle felt good enough to practice, but he did not elaborate.
Head coach Ron Rivera said Stewart participated fully in practice, which was partially closed to the media, and took his normal amount of reps.
He started a little slow in terms of cutting, Rivera said. He was a little apprehensive, but I think as practice went on you could see him loosen up more and more. Well see how he is in the morning.
The fourth-year back has only sat out four games since his freshman season at Oregon. He had never missed a season opener in his career.
He said the opener is special in that its an experience youre supposed to have with your teammates, but thats not the reason he was frustrated.
You lose a game like thatfirst game, division game I think those are the obvious reasons why, he said.
BRACE FOR SMITH: Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith wore a brace on his right knee during Wednesdays practice. That was just to be sure, Rivera said. He caught a little shot in the game, on the side. He felt a little sore today. So he wanted to put a brace on and go out and run around and see how he felt. It was still aggravated a little bit, so we practiced him in a limited capacity.
Rivera said there is no doubt Smith will play Sunday.
RG3 COMPARISONS: After having an NFL debut worthy of being named the NFCs player of the week, Washingtons Robert Griffin III brought early comparisons to Cam Newton. Griffin was 19-of-26 passing for 320 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints on Sunday. Rivera was impressed with Griffin, whos smaller than Newton - 6-foot-2, 220 pounds compared to 6-foot-5, 245-pound.
Its one of those things that at that position youve got to have a guy like that in this style of offense and hes got to make plays, Rivera said. The players around him have to make plays. There were a couple of plays, I was watching the New Orleans defense, and his receivers made some outstanding catches and runs.
ONATOLU EXCUSED: Fourth-year linebacker Kenny Onatolu was not at practice Wednesday as he went home to be with his family after the death of his mother. Rivera excused the linebacker from practice, and Onatolu is expected to play Sunday.
Joseph Person and Ron Green Jr. contributed.