Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart did not practice Friday and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Stewart injured his right ankle in a preseason game Aug. 26 against the New York Jets. Stewart has not participated in any on-field practice activity since then.
Stewart is one of only two tailbacks on the Panthers' active roster; the other is DeAngelo Williams. If Stewart were to miss Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Williams would likely take the bulk of the rushes, and fullback Mike Tolbert would be a candidate for third-down and short-yardage situations.
Running back Armond Smith is available on the Panthers' practice squad. Smith was a rookie for the Cleveland Browns in 2011, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Union College, an NAIA school in Barbourville, Ky. He rushed three times for two yards for the Browns in 2011.
Stewart played in all 16 games last season for the Panthers, rushing for 761 yards and four touchdowns. He signed a five-year extension with the Panthers in August worth up to $36.5 million.
The Panthers kick off against the Buccaneers on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox.
For updates on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation as well as Carolina Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL hub.
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