Jonathan Stewart injury: Panthers running back had ankle surgery

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

After signing a six-year contract extension worth more than $37 million, Jonathan Stewart had career lows in carries, yards, yards per carry and touchdowns.

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart said he had arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle Friday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Stewart, a part of one of the league's better rushing trios, played in nine games in 2012, rushing for a career-low 336 yards on 93 carries (3.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Those were all career-lows for Stewart, the fifth-year back out of Oregon.

Carolina rushed for 2,088 yards as a team, ninth-best in the NFL, well off the pace of their 2,408 they racked up in 2011 (third best in the league).

Stewart rushed eight times for 27 yards in a 30-22 win over Philadelphia in Week 12, but missed the remainder of the season with the ankle injury that led to Friday's surgery.

The Panthers finished the season 7-9, and lost offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski after he was hired as the Cleveland Browns head coach this week. They fired running backs coach John Settle, and are looking to get more production in 2013 out of Stewart one year into the six-year, $37.8 million contract he signed before the 2012 season.

They will select 14th in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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