The Carolina Panthers are being cautious in practice with running back Jonathan Stewart, who is recovering from an ankle injury. The Panthers used him in only a limited number of team drills at practice Thursday, but coach Ron Rivera expressed confidence that Stewart and safety Dean Marlowe (hamstring) would be ready to play Sunday.
“We’re trying to keep, not just him, but all the guys fresh. With Jonathan, you don’t want to rush him out there before he’s ready,” Rivera said. “Having an 80 percent Jonathan isn’t good for us. We want him at 100 percent, ready to go.”
Rivera said Stewart sets a tone for the Panthers that is hard to replace.
“He’s a big, physical, bruising running back,” Rivera said. “There’s a physicality (about Stewart) that spreads through the team.”