Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 6 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) said he felt little to no pain in the days leading up to Sunday's season-ending loss to the 49ers.

We're not going to say Stewart was a healthy scratch in the Divisional Round, but he appeared to be near 100 percent following his Week 14 knee sprain. The Panthers' decision to not dress him in the biggest game of the Cam Newton era speaks volumes. Starting the season on PUP and battling lower-body injuries once again, Stewart appeared in just six games, rushed 48 times for 180 yards (3.75 YPC) with no touchdowns in 2013. He carries a $6.875 option bonus in 2014, making him a candidate for a major pay cut.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 6 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) is inactive for Week 19 against the 49ers.

This comes as a surprise. Stewart tore his MCL in Week 14 and was expected to play after getting in a full week of practices. Instead, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert will handle running-back duties with Cam Newton getting his share of looks. Stewart is day-to-day.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) is listed as questionable for the Divisional Round against San Francisco.

Stewart practiced fully all week and is expected to play. The Panthers' tailback committee should be fully intact for their first postseason game.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) reiterated that he expects to play Sunday against the 49ers.

Stewart practiced Wednesday. He's missed the past three games with a torn MCL and has a month to recover. Stewart will return to be part of the Panthers' three-headed committee in the backfield, teaming up with DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert. None of the three will be daily-league options. Stewart rushed for 41 yards against San Francisco in Week 10.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) is expected to return to practice on Wednesday.

Stewart has missed the last three games with a torn MCL, but is on track to suit up following Carolina's first-round bye. If active, he'll see limited touches behind DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers also expect to have Steve Smith (knee) back at practice next week.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) is participating in the Panthers' walkthrough Wednesday.

It's a sign that Stewart is at least tentatively on track to suit up following the Panthers' first-round bye. He hasn't played since tearing his MCL in Week 14. If active, Stewart would come off the bench for a fistful of touches behind DeAngelo Williams.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) and Steve Smith (knee) are inactive for Sunday's Week 17 game against the Falcons.

No surprise here. The Panthers will have to try to clinch a first-round bye without two of their top offensive playmakers. Ted Ginn starts in place of Smith as a boom-or-bust WR4, and DeAngelo Williams is a good bet for 13-18 touches. The rest of the Panthers inactives: DT Colin Cole, WR Tavarres King, CB Josh Norman, LB Dan Connor and G Travis Bond.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart (knee) did not practice Tuesday.

Stewart isn't going to play this week, but has a chance to return for the playoffs. DeAngelo Williams will continue to handle lead back duties, with Mike Tolbert in a short-yardage role.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 7 Months

Jonathan Stewart is not expected to play until Week 17 at the earliest.

Stewart isn't practicing Wednesday as he rehabs his torn MCL. The Panthers would be wise to let him rest up and try to get close to 100 percent for the first round of the playoffs. DeAngelo Williams gets a boost ahead of this week's game against the Saints.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 8 Months

Jonathan Stewart (torn MCL) will be reevaluated Wednesday.

The Panthers are hoping to get Stewart back for Week 17, but a more realistic goal is probably the playoffs. "Who knows? Some say 2-4 weeks, some say 4-6 weeks," Stewart said. "You Google it and it says 4-6 weeks. I don't know." DeAngelo Williams will lead the Panthers backfield in touches through the fantasy playoffs.