Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart sprained his right ankle during the preseason and re-injured it during the first half Monday at Philadelphia. Then he sustained a high ankle sprain to his left leg in the second half.
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart doesn’t have a sore ankle.
He has two sore ankles.
“Both of them hurt,” Stewart said Thursday after missing his second consecutive practice.
Stewart sprained his right ankle during the preseason and missed two of the first three games. He re-injured that ankle in the first half Monday at Philadelphia, then sustained a high ankle sprain to his left leg in the second half.
Stewart hopes to play Sunday at Kansas City, but declined to put a percentage on how he feels.
“I’m day-by-day,” Stewart said. “I’m not a doctor. I’m a football player.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he’s concerned about Stewart’s availability against the Chiefs, particularly if he doesn’t practice Friday.
“It’s tough. It’s a running back, a guy that relies on his ankles, his feet, his legs,” Rivera said. “It’d be surprising if they weren’t sore. He didn’t work (Thursday), so there’s obvious concern.”
DeAngelo Williams, the former starter and the franchise rushing leader, would start if Stewart is out. Fullback Mike Tolbert would be the No. 2 tailback.
FAMILIAR FOE: Tolbert spent the past four seasons in San Diego, which faced the Chiefs twice a year as AFC West rivals. Tolbert’s best game against the Chiefs came in San Diego’ 31-0 win in 2010, when Tolbert rushed 16 times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
“I am familiar with them, playing them for the last four years. I know the ins and outs of the players on their defense,” Tolbert said. “It’s beneficial to me. But I still have to be put in position to make the good plays.”
The Panthers’ will be facing their first 3-4 defense since gaining 328 yards in a loss to Dallas in Week 7. Rivera, who also was with the Chargers for four years, said the Chiefs’ 16th-ranked defense presents a challenge.
“It’s a 3-4 front, a lot different than what we’re used to seeing,” Rivera said. “They play a lot more man (coverage) than a lot of teams we’ve played against. So there’s some differences that will test us schematically.”
SHINE BRIGHT: Former Panthers linebacker Chris Draft was in Charlotte on Thursday to raise awareness for lung cancer. Draft’s wife, Keasha, a former Charlotte Hornets’ cheerleader, died of lung cancer last December, a month after the two were married.
Draft, who played for the Panthers in 2005-06, appeared on CNN this month for lung cancer awareness month and arranged to have a lung cancer survivor at every NFL game during Week 11. The Duke Energy Capital was lighted white Thursday night to promote awareness of the disease.
EXTRA POINTS: Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who was excused Wednesday because of a family issue, did not practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury. Josh Thomas took the first-team reps opposite rookie corner Josh Norman. Defensive end Antwan Applewhite (hamstring) was also out. ... The game-day forecast for Kansas City: A high of 70 degrees with no rain and little wind. “I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Rivera said.