In news that’s shocking to no one, Jonathan Stewart has landed on the physically unable to perform list. The Carolina Panthers running back is dealing with an ankle injury and will be sidelined until at least week seven when he’s eligible to return. The Panthers were hoping for good news as Stewart visited a foot specialist on Tuesday, but after the consultation it was decided the best course of action was to give him some additional time to prepare for the 2013 season.
While this is not what the Panthers or their fans want to hear, it’s the best move for Stewart at this time. After battling injuries throughout his career, there’s no other way to play this than safe. As much as fans are disappointed and frustrated that he hasn’t panned out after being selected with the 13th overall selection in 2008 and then after he signed a lucrative long-term deal last year, there’s nothing they can do but hope for the best from here on out.
The harsh reality is that this latest injury could spell the end of Stewart’s tenure in Carolina. The RB is due to earn a $9 million option bonus in 2014 and the way things look at the moment, he won’t be getting that payday. Sure, things could turn around all of a sudden for the 26-year old, but that seems very unlikely. Injury-prone players tend to stay that way. Still, Stewart technically has plenty of shelf life left and it’s possible the Panthers are just being overly cautious by moving him to the PUP list.