The Carolina Panthers will activate running back Jonathan Stewart from the physically unable to perform list on Saturday, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Stewart will likely play in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. As per the PUP rules, Stewart has been able to practice for the past couple weeks, meaning the Panthers are not activating a totally raw player.
Stewart has been inactive since sustaining an ankle injury against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 26, 2012. Stewart has been back practicing for some time now, which is obviously important after so much inactivity. What kind of load he'll shoulder his first game back will be something interesting to pay attention to at this point.
DeAngelo Williams has been the starter in Stewart's absence, and he's been pretty good this season. Williams has 114 carries for 477 yards with a touchdown. That's good for a per-carry average of 4.2 yards. Quarterback Cam Newton comes in second with 229 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Fantasy Impact: Stewart is probably already scooped up in you fantasy league, but if he's not, he's definitely worth a pickup. He should be a productive back this season, but he might not be a smart option to start this week. Fantasy owners should see something from him before they pull the trigger on playing him over another RB2, so if you're playing more than that, you can probably go with him. Otherwise, take the wait-and-see approach.