Jonathan Stewart will miss the first six games of the regular season. The Carolina Panthers will place the running back on the physically unable to perform list -- according to a report from Ian Rapoport.
Stewart has missed the majority of the Panthers' offseason activities following surgery on both ankles. The seriousness of his status was downplayed by the organization, but questions arose when Stewart was forced to withdraw from a charity golf tournament in July due to ankle issues.
Sharing time with DeAngelo Williams, Stewart finished with the lowest totals of his career in 2012 -- running for just 336 yards in nine games, before being placed on injured reserve.
The Carolina Panthers will turn to DeAngelo Williams and rookie Kenjon Barner in his absence. Both backs have big play potential, but lack consistent every-down ability to move the chains, or be used in short-yardage situations. The Panthers hoped to turn to a North-South running style this year under new offensive coordinator Mike Shula, but the team will need to revisit their game play and lean more heavily on quarterback Cam Newton in Stewart's absence.