Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, who is recovering from a sprained right ankle, missed practice again Friday as the Panthers finished up their week at IMG Academy.
But Stewart did his most extensive cutting since he was injured in the Aug. 26 exhibition against the Jets, giving coach Ron Rivera hope that Stewart might play Sunday at Tampa Bay.
The Panthers listed Stewart as questionable, and Rivera said it likely will be Sunday before the team decides whether Stewart plays.
Not practicing Friday usually isn't a good sign a player will be active. But in this case, Rivera seems pretty optimistic Stewart's making enough progress that there is a chance he suits up. If he doesn't play, DeAngelo Williams gets a big boost and perhaps even Mike Tolbert gets a few extra carries. Unfortunately, the Panthers play at Tampa in a 4:25 game, so you'll need a backup plan if Stewart can't go.