Stewart carried the ball twice for one yard in Sunday's 20-13 loss to the Cowboys. Stewart logged just five offensive snaps -- the same amount as fellow backup Wayne Gallman -- Sunday night, and while he outpaced Gallman in carries two to one, Gallman recorded one catch for 11 yards out of the backfield. Regardless, given the high usage of rookie star Saquon Barkley, there doesn't appear to be much of a role for either Stewart or Gallman in the backfield at this time.
Stewart is listed as the No. 3 back heading into Week 1's matchup with the Jaguars, Paul Schwartz of The New York Post reports. Stewart failed to impress during the preseason, which was highlighted against the Jets in Week 3, as Stewart ran the ball three times for minus-seven yards and also lost a fumble. Pair Stewart's poor performance with the upside of Wayne Gallman as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and therein lies the decision to make the veteran Stewart the No. 3 option.
Stewart logged three carries for minus-seven yards and also lost a fumble in the Giants' 22-16 preseason win over the Jets on Friday. Speculation about Stewart losing a grip on the No. 2 running back job to Wayne Gallman had already been running rampant prior to Friday's game, and the veteran's poor performance may have sealed his fate. Stewart's fumble came at the Jets' eight-yard line one play after Cody Latimer had secured a 54-yard reception late in the first quarter. Gallman found tough sledding on the ground as well (11 carries, 23 yards), but he looked notably better than Stewart while doing so, didn't turn the ball over and also secured four receptions. Stewart is still highly likely to hold on to a roster spot, but his playing time to open the season may be scarcer than originally envisioned.
Stewart is part of a New York backfield that now includes No. 2 overall draft pick Saquon Barkley, Dan Salomone of the Giants' official website reports. Stewart knew this was possible -- perhaps even likely -- when he signed with New York in mid-March on a two-year, $6.9 million contract that includes $2.95 million guaranteed, per OverTheCap. The Giants may envision Stewart serving as a mentor to Barkley, but it still seems like an unnecessarily large contract for a 31-year-old running back coming off a season in which he averaged 3.3 yards on 198 carries. What's more, 2017 fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman looked the part of a solid contributor during his rookie season, averaging 4.3 yards on 111 totes. Barkley instantly becomes the best pass catcher and pure runner in this backfield by a wide margin, but it isn't out of the question that Stewart and/or Gallman also find roles. Paul Perkins likely was headed for the roster bubble even before he suffered a torn pectoral while working out in the offseason.
Stewart and DeMarco Murray are scheduled for visits with the Lions on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. With Ameer Abdullah entering the final year of his rookie contract on the heels of a season in which he was limited to 3.3 yards per carry, Detroit is one of the obvious destinations for free-agent running backs. Stewart turns 31 next week and managed only 3.4 yards per carry for the Panthers last season, but he did score five times in his final five games, including a 103-yard, three-score effort against the stingy Minnesota defense in Week 14. He'd be part of a committee in Detroit, where Theo Riddick is locked in on passing downs and Abdullah still figures to compete for carries.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/30||New Orleans Saints||3||9.00|
|10||11/13||@San Francisco 49ers||11||13.00|
|11||11/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||27.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||219||831||7||11||70||1||134|