In the most recent update from yesterday, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is still unclear on whether or not Stewart will be able to play in week one.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Rivera had this to say about Stewart after Wednesday’s practice: “We’ll see how he is [Thursday] and based on that, we’ll add on or decrease what we did. And hopefully by Friday we’ll have a definitive [answer] in terms of where he is.”
Rivera also indicated that he is “most certainly optimistic” that Stewart will play, though nothing is yet confirmed.
As of right now, the Panthers have Stewart listed as “questionable.”
Two reasons why the Panthers should give Stewart the first game off; one being the new contract Stewart signed in the off-season and two because the Panthers are deep at the running back position with DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert.
At this point the Panthers should declare Stewart a game time decision. He hasn’t practiced with the team officially since the injury occurred on August 26th. Plus, it can’t hurt to keep the Buccaneers guessing all weekend long up until game time if Stewart will be available or not.
Most likely, Stewart will in fact sit out on Sunday. It’s getting late in the week and even if Stewart practices today it would be a risky move to allow him to return at game speed so soon.
This is definitely a scenario fans will want to keep an eye on from here on up until kick-off Sunday.