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Jonathan Stewart misses practice with ankle soreness

Jonathan Stewart

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) holds his foot after getting hurt on a play during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


The Panthers backfield depth might get an early test in the opener.

Running back Jonathan Stewart was held out of practice again Tuesday with a sore ankle.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Stewart went through a strenuous workout Monday, and came out of it more sore than he anticipated, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

Stewart will travel with the team later today as they make an early escape from Charlotte. With the Democratic National Convention bringing the literal kind of gridlock to their home, they’re ducking out to train at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., in advance of Sunday’s game against the Bucs.

Rivera said the team would evaluate him again when they get to Florida.

On most teams, losing Stewart would be a huge blow, but the Panthers still have DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert, more options than most.