After undergoing offseason surgery on both ankles, the Carolina Panthers could be without the services of RB Jonathan Stewart for the first six games of the 2013 regular season. Head coach Ron Rivera told reporters on Tuesday that anything is possible for the future of Stewart this year. There is the option of placing Stewart on the PUP list, a move which would prohibit him from playing for the first six regular season games.
Stewart, paired with fellow back DeAngelo Williams used to make up one of the more dynamic running back duos in the league but his production has tailed off since his career high season in 2009 when he rushed for 1,133 yards and 10 scores. Stewart only appeared in nine games last year rushing for just 336 yards and one touchdown.
Stewart could be seeing his last season in Carolina. In 2014 his contract is a base $1.5 million but includes a $9 million dollar option bonus. The Oregon product signed a six-year deal worth $37 million with $22 million guaranteed in 2012.
The Panthers have ruled Stewart out for Thursday’s game and he has yet to take the field yet this offseason.