CHARLOTTE – Head coach Ron Rivera ruled out running back Jonathan Stewart for Sunday's game against the Falcons. It will be Stewart's second consecutive missed game with a foot injury.
"He's coming along very nicely, doing the things he's supposed to be doing, but he will be out," Rivera said.
Once again, Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert will carry the load in his absence. Artis-Payne carried the ball a team-high 14 times last week against the Giants and could be in line for more work in Week 16.
Quarterback Cam Newton made a surprise appearance on Thursday's injury report. He was listed as a limited participant but that designation was not injury related.
"He did everything he was supposed to do. He had to take off for a family situation – a positive, not negative, nothing bad," Rivera said. "We had 11 periods, and he participated in nine. He'll be back Saturday."
Wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. (quad) was a full participant, and Rivera expects him to be full speed on Sunday.
"A little bit of rest and getting an opportunity to rehab two days in a row and get treatment really paid benefits," Rivera said.
Defensive tackle Kyle Love was limited with a concussion and remains in the protocol.
"He will see the independent today, and we'll see from there," Rivera said. "So far, everything has been progressing well. He got to work some on the field today."
With inclement weather forcing the team to practice at the Convention Center on Wednesday and players off Friday to enjoy Christmas, Thursday's practice featured a heavy workload.
"We pushed them on upping the tempo because they'll get tomorrow off," Rivera said. "We've done this the last two seasons, and the players seem to come back in better spirits having gotten their rest."