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Jonathan Stewart dealing with foot injury during Super Bowl

Stewart limped off the field, but returned later from a foot injury.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart left the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos with a foot injury. He was questionable to return but later re-entered the game. Unfortunately, he left again in the second quarter and was listed as questionable again heading into the second half.

But Stewart wouldn't be kept out of the game and he was on the field when the third quarter got underway.

Stewart limped off the field midway through the first quarter and has yet to return. Mike Tolbert took over as the lead running back with rookie Cameron Artis-Payne inactive.

Stewart has been a key player in Carolina's offense this season. He rushed for 989 yards and six touchdowns on 242 carries in the regular season, but injuries slowed him down in the second half. Stewart missed the final two games with injuries.

The Panthers have an early deficit in the game. Denver jumped out to a 10-0 lead after Cam Newton got strip-sacked near his own goal line, with Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson recovering in the end zone. With Stewart struggling through his injury, there will be even an even bigger load on the MVP quarterback's shoulders.