RB Stewart's return this week unlikely

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart wasn't activated from the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday and likely won't be this week.

With a short week coming up for a Thursday night game at Tampa Bay, next week may be a long shot as well for the team's second-all-time leading rusher recovering from offseason ankle surgery.

But the Panthers (2-3) are allowed three weeks to activate Stewart, so a more reasonable time frame for his return would be for the Nov. 3 home game against NFC South rival Atlanta.

Coach Ron Rivera didn't rule Stewart out for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, but he didn't sound like he was counting on him. And Stewart said on Monday he'd like at least a full week of practice before returning to a live game for the first time since November.

"We'll see,'' Rivera said. "We'll see how he is and how he reacts to everything today and tomorrow morning. There is a lot for him to make sure he's on par with what we're doing.

"In all likelihood, yes, this is not very like this week.''