Report: Panthers fear RB Jonathan Stewart has a torn MCL

Jonathan Stewart missed the first seven games of the season on the PUP list. (USATSI)
Jonathan Stewart missed the first seven games of the season on the PUP list y. (USATSI)

In the middle of what was a disappointing 31-13 loss to the Saints on Sunday night, the Panthers got more bad news in the third quarter when running back Jonathan Stewart went down with a knee injury.

Reportedly, it could be a season-ender as ESPN.com reports that the team fears Stewart tore his MCL. But former Chargers team doctor David Chao, writing for the National Football Post, says it's possible Stewart actually could return in time for the playoffs.

The injury occurred in the third quarter when after catching a 16-yard pass from Cam Newton, Stewart was hit in the knee by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis.

Stewart missed the first seven games of the season while on the Physically Unable to Perform list because of an ankle injury. Since his return, Stewart has averaged 3.8 yards per carry on 48 attempts -- which is less efficient than the team's other running backs, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Goodson.

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