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Running back Jonathan Stewart, who entered Sunday’s game against the 49ers questionable with an ankle injury, left the game with a hamstring injury in the first half. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game at the start of the second half.
Stewart started the game and rushed five times for 9 yards. He also caught two passes for 7 yards.
Head coach Ron Rivera didn’t sound optimistic Monday about running back Jonathan Stewart being able to play Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings come to town, but Rivera is optimistic about what the Panthers can do in the running game if Stewart misses time.
Stewart suffered a hamstring injury just nine minutes into Carolina’s home opener Sunday. Fozzy Whittaker took over and gained an even 100 yards as the Panthers pulled away for a 46-27 victory over the 49ers.
“If it’s a hamstring, which every indication points to that, it’s going to be at least a week,” Rivera said. “We’ll see how severe. He said he felt pretty good walking around when I ran into him just a second ago.
“The one thing we’ve been able to do the last few years here is we’ve been able to replace guys when they’re out. We’ve had a next-man-up mentality that’s been very beneficial for us, and this is one of those circumstances. If Jonathan is out for an extended period, we feel good about the combination of guys we have.”
With one play, running back Jonathan Stewart and his offensive line put any concerns of a collapse to rest on a night when they refused to let the Redskins defense rest.
“It feels great to wear a defense down,” said Stewart, whose 34-yard jaunt all but sealed Carolina’s 26-15 triumph on Monday Night Football. “You can feel an opponent getting weaker and weaker as the game goes on, and you could feel our offensive line getting after it at the line of scrimmage.”
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The run put Stewart over the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. He finished with a season-high 132 yards on 25 carries, the fifth-highest rushing total of his standout career.
Running back Jonathan Stewart jersey and safety Dean Marlowe fully participated in practice Friday after being limited the previous two days. While Stewart (ankle) was added to the injury report this week, it’s a big step for Marlowe, who hadn’t fully participated in a practice since suffering a hamstring injury nearly six weeks ago.
With Newton, Derek Anderson and Joe Webb all under contract through at least 2018 – and Newton through 2021 – focus will be on helping Newton look more like the quarterback who took the NFL by storm in 2015 than the quarterback who endured a stormy 2016. Newton, his coaches and his fellow quarterbacks will explore all avenues to get him back in form.
“It feels great. It’s felt like home since the first day I first got here,” said Webb, who signed about 17 hours after officially becoming an unrestricted free agent. “Everybody accepted me for who I am, and I love the coaching staff. It’s great.”
Webb has been Carolina’s third-string quarterback for the past two seasons. He played in every game in 2015, finishing second on the team with 12 special teams tackles. He also returned eight kickoffs for 178 yards.