The Carolina Panthers reached the league’s 75-man roster limit Tuesday night by making four moves.
Jonathan Stewart, who is still recovering from off-season surgery, was placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. After meeting with a foot specialist on Tuesday about his surgically repaired right ankle, Stewart will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list. “I can spend all my energy being disappointed, or spend all my energy preparing myself,” Stewart said following Tuesday’s practice. “It’s just got to heal up.”
“Our doctors and trainers have been going at it, figuring things out – solutions here and there,” Stewart said. “We’ve put a lot of brainpower behind it. So we’re working at it.”
“He’s made some big strides, some real good things have happened,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera added. “It’s just they’re not going to happen soon enough. So in order to help us as a football team, this is the best move that we could make.”
Stewart, who has been on the preseason PUP list, will be out a minimum of six weeks and is eligible to return in Week 7. He will miss at least five games (the Panthers have a bye in Week 4). This move also opens the door for DeAngelo Williams to get more carries…something he has wanted for the last two seasons.
Should they clear waivers and no team picks them up, both players will automatically revert to the Panthers’ injured reserve. Michael Zordich, Kealoha Pilares and Bruce Campbell reverted to the Panthers’ IR Tuesday.
Guard Edmund Kugbila, Carolina’s fourth-round draft pick from April, has been injured most of his time with Carolina, has been placed on the Injured/Reserve list. He struggled all spring and summer with knee and hamstring injuries. Kugbila, a 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman from Division II Valdosta State, missed nearly all of spring workouts with a sore knee and he strained his hamstring during the first practice of training camp in July. He attempted to practice later in camp but suffered a setback and did not finish the practice session. He is done for the year.