Ron Rivera optimistic Jonathan Stewart ready for Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he's optimistic running back Jonathan Stewart will play Sunday in the season opener at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brooks: Panthers running wild

The NFL is a pass-happy league, but the Carolina Panthers are doubling down on the ground. Bucky Brooks takes a look at their dynamic rushing attack. More ...

Stewart sprained his right ankle in the team's third preseason game Aug, 26 and hasn't practiced since.

Although he was held out of practice, Rivera says Stewart "moved around very nicely" during a private workout Monday. Rivera says that's a "very encouraging sign" and he's hopeful Stewart will return to practice Wednesday when the team continues this week's game preparation in Bradenton, Fla.

The Panthers were scheduled to fly out of Charlotte Tuesday to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Wide receiver Steve Smith (foot infection) and Jon Beason (hamstring) both participated in practice.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.