Barner back; Stewart not far behind

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It won't be long before the Carolina Panthers have an abundance of options for the NFL's No. 2 rushing attack.

Rookie running back Kenjon Barner returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since spraining his foot in the third preseason game against Baltimore.

Former starter Jonathan Stewart, placed on the physically unable to perform list while rehabbing lingering issues from offseason ankle surgery, is on schedule to return in Week 7.

They eventually will join DeAngelo Williams, who ranks third in the NFL in rushing with 291 yards on 62 carries. Barner is set to go in the next game, Oct. 6 at Arizona.

"I'm ready,'' Barner said. "It felt good to be able to run around, get some touches and be back out there for the guys.''

Barner will provide much needed relief for Williams, who has averaged 20 rushes a game during a 1-2 start. Barner also will provide a change of pace for the offense with his speed and ability to get around the corner.

"I can contribute in any way they want me to,'' said Barner, a sixth-round pick out of Oregon who rushed for 45 yards on 16 carries before the injury. "I bring a different type of running style than DeAngelo brings, a kind of change of pace.

"I feel I can contribute in that area, just change the look of things.''

When Barner and Williams both return it could change the look of the entire offense.