Running back Jonathan Stewart and wide receiver Steve Smith won't play in the Panthers' preseason finale on Thursday, but both are making progress toward playing Sept. 9 versus the Houston Texans. On Tuesday, general manager Marty Hurney classified Stewart and Smith as day-to-day.
Stewart sprained his ankle Sunday night, but there has been no indication that it's of the high-ankle variety. Smith has had a foot infection for a little more than a week, but head coach Ron Rivera told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer that Smith was "much better" on Tuesday. Rivera said Smith was walking less on crutches and more on his feet.
Stewart was said to be on crutches yesterday; there was no update to that extent. The state of his ankle certainly gives me more anxiety Smith's foot. I think Steve Smith will be fine in a few days. But we'll have to keep a close eye on Stewart. I'm already not a big Stewart fan -- there are too many other people who can run the ball in Carolina to trust him as a low-end RB2 or high-end flex -- and this would give me another reason to be negative about his 2012 potential.