Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (ankles) is practicing with the team on Tuesday, and it's believed that he will make his return to the lineup as early Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers according to a report by the Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen. Stewart had supplanted DeAngelo Williams as the team's number one running back before getting injured last year.
Fantasy impact: Before fantasy owners jump on the bandwagon looking for a starting running back, it's important to note that Stewart won't come back as a starter.
He'll need time to get his ankles used to the grind of playing again and it's a lot easier for the Panthers to give him that time with Williams being the 11th leading rusher in NFL, which is pretty good considering how up-and-down he's been over the last few years.
Furthermore, teammate Mike Tolbert has made his living in the league scoring touchdowns down near the goal line and coach Ron Rivera has grown to trust him. Add that to the fact the San Francisco 49ers are a tough matchup, and starting Stewart is a strategy that can wait for now. By all means you can add him to your lineup as a player to stash away, just don't expect an immediate impact.