ATLANTA — The Carolina Panthers’ 2017 leading rusher will be quarterback Cam Newton.
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is inactive for Sunday’s showdown versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Stewart’s inactivity means that the Panthers leading rusher for the season will be Newton. Entering Week 17, Newton leads with Panthers with 695 rushing yards. Stewart’s registered 680 yards on the ground.
The Panthers have a chance to win the NFC South if they win and the New Orleans Saints lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Atlanta needs to win to solidify their No. 6 wild card playoff spot. If the Falcons lose and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle would slide into to sixth and final wildcard spot.
Stewart’s absence is a blow to Carolina’s chances. Expect Newton and rookie versatile runner back Christian McCaffrey to carry the load on the ground.