Jonathan Stewart injury: Panthers RB poised to return vs. Falcons

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

The Carolina Panthers offense could be a little more dangerous on Sunday.

Jonathan Stewart has not played a down of football since Nov. 26 of last year, but the Panthers running back could be poised to return to action this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.

Head coach Ron Rivera was coy about Stewart's return, telling media to "read between the lines," but it doesn't take too much imagination to realize he will be a late-addition to the active roster before Sunday's game. The return should have no impact to the Panthers starting offense, as it's expected DeAngelo Williams will remain the starting running back, provided he's recovered from a thigh injury.

Stewart last ran for 1,000 yards in 2009 before a combination of coaching ineptitude and injury de-railed the last three years. Through it all he remains a 4.7 yard-per-carry running back, with a knack for picking up hard yards in short situations. It will be interesting to see how his return changes Mike Tolbert's role, who has been used as the goal line back in Stewart's absence.

Everything is coming up Carolina lately, and it's nice to see a little luck on the injury front rather than the typical soul-crushing misery.

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