Jonathan Stewart injury: Panthers RB tests ankle with positive results

US PRESSWIRE

The Panthers could get back a vital offensive weapon in less than a month.

Jonathan Stewart was running at full-pace on the sideline of practice Monday, a development that wasn't lost on David Newton of ESPN.

Neither Stewart not head coach Ron Rivera are willing to commit to a return timetable at this time. He could be ready by 10/20 when his time on the PUP list expires.

Stewart was placed on the physically unable to play list prior to the start of the season when the running back underwent surgery on both ankles to clear up a series of issues. Stewart has been extremely effective when healthy, but the Panthers' back has struggled to practice fully since being drafted in 2008 -- though he showed a knack for playing through the pain prior to 2012.

It remains to be seen what Stewart means for the Panthers running back position. DeAngelo Williams is playing very well this season, but the coaching staff showed a clear preference for Stewart when he was named starter in 2012. Both Williams and Stewart are accustomed to sharing the load, and things could stay that way for a while as Williams re-structured his contract prior to the season in order to stay in Charlotte long term.

Stewart is coming off his worst NFL season as he finished with just 336 yards under Rob Chudzinski's offense.

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