The Carolina Panthers could be without their top running back when they take on the division rival New Orleans Saints in week three. Per reports, star rusher Jonathan Stewart has been dealing with a nagging knee injury sat out of practice on Wednesday and was only a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. The team tentatively expects Stewart to suit up in week three, but he’s being regarded as questionable going into the weekend.
While Carolina has yet to express any serious concern about Stewart’s week three status, Ron Rivera and co. have been known to provide shaky details on player health and availability in the past. Stewart will likely still suit up against the Saints, but would be replaced by top backup Cameron Artis-Payne in the starting lineup if he did end up sitting out.
There’s probably nothing to see here, but this blurb of news is worth reporting for three key reasons. For one, you don’t want Jonathan Stewart stuck in your week three fantasy football lineup if he’s not 100% or active. It sounds like he’ll play, and if he does he’s a great start against a bad Saints defense at home. However, if he’s out this week, his absence has two clear impacts. For one, Cameron Artis-Payne would stand to see 15+ touches in a big role as the lead back, and almost more important would be Cam Newton’s role in the red-zone. The dual threat passer has already run the ball a whopping 23 times through the first two weeks, and he would be called upon to inflict even more damage with his legs should J-Stew be out or limited. Keep all of that in mind when finalizing your week three fantasy rosters.