With a week until the season-opening game for the Carolina Panthers (and most teams), wide receiver Steve Smith is looking good. Running back Jonathan Stewart , not so much.
Smith practiced Sunday for the first time in nearly two weeks after coming down with a foot infection.
"He went back to his normal practice mode -- 100 percent, all the time," head coach Ron Rivera said of Smith. "So it was a lot of fun watching Steve back on the football field."
Conversely, Stewart is still not ready to practice due to a sprained ankle he suffered last Sunday against the Jets. He did do some running in a pool and on a treadmill, but Rivera wouldn't guess if Stewart could play versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at least not until he is able to practice.
I'm not a big fan of the Panthers' RB situation for fantasy purposes, but DeAngelo Williams would be a very strong start against the Bucs if Stewart can't play. Mike Tolbert would be Carolina's No. 2 running back. We'll know a lot more about Stewart's health when the Panthers hold the usual game-week practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
It looks like all systems go for Smith. He is a fine WR2 this week and going forward.